One of my favorite things about Madison is Concert on the Square. For 6 weeks during the summer, the Madison Orchestra performs on the Capital Square as people gather around the lawn with blankets and small chairs. It's actually quite and ordeal - people really go all out on this. Nice food, nice wine. Concerts are upscale events. And we love them.
Of the six concerts, the best one is near the 4th of July, when they do a patriotic concert. My dad always was playing patriotic music when I was a kid, and I developed a big sense of loyalty and appreciation for my country. When I think about the armed forces, I immediately think of the respect I feel towards their service to our country. Their efforts, along with the men and women who served before them - their efforts are why we are free and safe.
There's a point in the concert when Maestro Sewell does a tribute to all the men and women who've served their country. The song starts slow, then it goes into branch's song. As the song for the National Guard plays, anyone in the crowd from the Guard stands to a round of applause. This continues for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Seeing these men and women stand up here in Madison in their civilian clothes, I think about the time they gave to this country. When did they serve? What was their job? What did they see? Learn? Accomplish?
What I like to do after the show is walk over to one of the men I saw stand up and shake his hand and thank him for serving. Here's a couple of the men I saw last night.
This last guy was in the Air Force, and he's the one I thanked this year. I just want to do a small part to show appreciation for what he's done.