Guest Column: Once again, it takes a community
July 14, 2014
"It Takes a Community" is the motto of Red, White and Tahoe Blue. My thoughts are that in executing a successful event such as RWTB, our motto is accurate — the community came through in flying colors.
More importantly for me is one element of RWTB's theme: to salute our veterans. When The Reno Philharmonic played tribute to the many branches of the armed services, one individual caught my attention— a Marine whose salute was the epitome of salutes, like a perfectly manufactured, rigid piece of steel held until the end of "The Marine's Hymn." His salute resulted in my skin looking like a chicken's.
To continue my emotional roller coaster the last portion of The Reno Phil was a tribute to the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner, in which all in attendance were standing and singing the fourth verse, and, like me, singing at the top of our non-musical voices. This brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat.
The coup de grace was the Billy Ray Cyrus tribute to a Marine, Michael Landsberry, who was a teacher at a Sparks Middle School, killed while attempting to disarm a 12-year-old student.
Mr. Cyrus played a song which he composed, "Some Gave All," in which he received Bob Hope's Congressional Medal of Honor for Excellence in Entertainment.
The award was given to Michael's widow, Sharon, who has experienced a horrific tragedy, but delivered an inspiring message for us to seek the best in us. The brief ceremony included a video of Michael's youngest daughter, Andrea Cook, from the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, somewhere in the Persian Gulf, thanking all for their caring for the Landsberry family.
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There was not a dry eye in the crowd, with me being the biggest contributor to the tears.
Like the aforementioned Marine, I salute, though I have never earned that privilege, to "All Who Gave Some": the hard working Board of RWTB. Every board member worked diligently to provide our community the best Fourth of July celebration I have ever experienced.
The board's efforts pale in comparison to those who "Some Gave All." Let's continue the tribute and celebration of our country's birthday made possible by our service men and women.
RWTB invites the community to participate in body by volunteering in some capacity or in spirit by your generous donations. Thank you one and all.
Tom Bruno is an Incline Village resident and former chairman of Red, White and Tahoe Blue.