Friday, November 03, 2006

Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery

Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetary

The team accompanied Rep. Peña to the opening of the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery today. This is the first opportunity I've had to be in a place where representatives of all levels of government are present at the same time. We had a U.S. Senator, a Congressman, State Senators, State Representatives, the County Judge, and the Mayor all present. Off the stage were City of Mission employees, particularly Mission Police and Parks & Recreation.

Lately the weather has been cloudy and a bit cool. However, on this day, the weather turned perfect. The sun was out; there was a nice breeze that was just strong enough to make all the flags wave to show their full designs. We could not have asked for a more perfect day.

When I first got there, Orlando called me and we met so that he could hand me the video camera. I set up the camera and tripod near the band up front. It's funny, I was trying to figure out how to use the camera on the spot. I finally got it on and managed to pop in a DVD as the event was starting.

Mari, another team member, joined us a little while later. She took pictures with my camera while I recorded the event. She got some nice shots in.

Afterwards, we left to grab a bite to eat and to critique Mr. Peña's speech. He likes feedback after a speech so that he can make improvements. One thing that Mr. Peña has is that he is sincere when he speaks to people. Consequently, he doesn't adorn his speeches with flowery words. That really just leaves his presence and delivery to critique.

Listening to some of the other speakers, there are occasions in which you become overwhelmed with emotion knowing that there are veterans and the families of veterans in the audience. It's a feeling of ... I can't describe. Let me just say that the new cemetery is made to honor those who have served their country and who have died. From this point on, there will be veterans buried in the 75 acres. Imagine knowing that you are honoring the dead and those who are living now. That's the feeling, knowing that some of the veterans in the audience will be buried there soon; and they have come to see what their country, state, and city have done to honor them for their final rest. It's a mixture of happiness and sadness for the veterans. Obviously, to take advantage of the cemetery, they must leave us.

Being present at such events, I think, makes this a great job.

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