Monday, July 11, 2011

ProRanger Leadership Camp - Dismissal

The ProRangers departed Leadership camp at 0715 on July 10th. One long line of vehicles headed for the Flight 93 Memorial. Upon arrival we all proceeded to the overlook area, adorned in flags of all sizes, perhaps left by relatives or those paying their respects to the passengers and crew of the doomed flight.

As we all gazed over the area where the plane crashed, I said a few words about the tragic event.

40 everyday people said goodbye to their family, or not...

had their last look at their children, or not...

heard what the other terrorists were doing along the East coast, fought back, and paid the supreme price for the lives of others.

Who can fathom such courage? To trade all your tomorrows in a desperate fight with armed terrorists, so that other Americans might live.

We formed for a meaningful observation of the raising of the Flag. Although there was no music, no band, or any fireworks, my pride swelled as I felt the familiar shiver run up my spine as the colors waved over this special place. Life is so fragile, with no certainty. How appropriate that the ProRangers began their journey back to their parks with a fresh reminder of their mortality.

I would like to thank former NER Regional Chief Ranger (now Superintendent of MORR) Jill Hawk, and NER Regional Chief Ranger Steve Clark, for placing their trust and confidence in this leadership camp. The ProRangers salute you.

I would also like to thank NCR Regional Chief Ranger Will Reynolds for his help, participation, and inspirational leadership at the Leadership Camp. The ProRangers salute you.

Ranger Dave Ballum for his total commitment to the members of this program. The ProRangers appreciate you.

Ranger Dylan Mroszczyk-McDonald from Boston for his caring and upbeat attitude. The ProRangers enjoyed hosting you.

Chief Ranger Cindy Sirk-Fear, who traveled so far to support the ProRangers in awful weather with a smile. The ProRangers want to be like you.

Deputy Superintendent Brion Fitzgerald from Gettysburg, The ProRangers strive to emulate you.

All the Partner Parks for their creative scheduling and support.

The ProRangers! I knew we could do it! You are all fine men and women that would make anyone proud to call you a fellow Ranger. (P.S. Pain is weakness leaving the body!).

Stephen Sweet, my brother, who has volunteered so very much of his time and expense to support the ProRangers. The ProRangers love you. (Me too).

And most of all, my wife Victoria. Who let me chase my dream so far from home. Without me there for all those things she counted on me for. A couple more months...

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