This morning, I went to the Greene County Veteran's Day ceremony. I've been part of the Greene County Singers this year, and we were asked to sing the National Anthem to open the ceremony. That went fine - really nice acapella arrangement of the anthem. Although - Suzanne (our director) forgot her pitch pipe, so she improvised with a child's hand bell filched from a local Sunday School class. It was a very patriotic lime green.
As part of the ceremony, several people were there in uniform, representing the various branches of service. In Greene County, there is also a fairly large group of people who do Civil War reenactments. (They re-stage the Battle of Stanardsville every year.) It so happens that the representatives of this group who attended the ceremony were all in Union blue. One of the women who sings with us is also one of the reenactors. She was there, wearing her blues. As we arrived for practice, she asked if anyone was offended by her presence! We all assured her she was fine - and could she please stand in the back? :)
During the ceremony, there came a time when those in uniform presented arms, and gave a rifle salute. I'm not sure how many times they shot into the air, but it was enough to impress us. We would have remained impressed, if not for one little old man on the end of the row. When the shooting was done, the commander the American Legion (who had been giving orders like: "Ten-Hut!" and "At Ease!" all morning) gave the order "Safeties On!" Evidently, this one guy didn't know how to do that. He squeezed off several more shots, while the commander told him "no, the button down (BLAM!) there, yeah - below the (BLAM!) trigger. Fred, can you (BLAM!) help him?" Very funny stuff.