July 4, 2007
Patriot Indiana is the only town in the Untied States named Patriot. It's a quiet river town in an oxbow of the Ohio river far from the nearest highway or bridge. Population in the 2000 census was 202. Despite the small size, Patriot has a big heart and puts on the best fourth of July parade they can muster which consists mostly of all the firetrucks, the ATV riders and some horsemen.
Today I decided to take my camera along so I could take some photos to make a CD to send to servicemen overseas. I wanted to share a little piece of our country with them and let them know how much we value our freedom.
It is really an amazing thing to watch the smiles light up when I told people what I was doing. I have never had an experience like this as a photographer- but the people just were so open and full of pride and love. I know my pictures are not technically perfect, it's just a little Cannon PowerShot... but I think the love these people have for our troops surely shines through all my exposure problems.
After the parade was over there was a dedication ceremony of a memorial park in town. The park consists of a gazebo, two memorial stones, the old school bell and many flagpoles which fly the flags of each branch of the armed services. The American flag on the center pole was raised by an Iraq veteran from Patriot (in the foreground in the gray shirt) who brought the flag home and presented it to his hometown two years ago.
I 'm just posting a few select photos here, the rest can be found in an Album on Flickr.
It was an honor to meet this gentleman, Russell Fitzgerald, a veteran of WWII. When I asked if I might take his photo to send to our soldiers stationed overseas, he removed his hat and nodded. He arrived in the theater in North Africa and then fought in Italy and France. I told him that I had lived in Italy and the Italian people still deeply love Americans for what you guys did.