My favorite part of Camp Perry

Recently I was able to sneak away and enjoy America’s favorite past-time. I was lucky enough to be able to attend a couple of baseball games at the Washington Nationals Ballpark near the Navy Yards in Washington D.C. The weather was perfect and a good time was had by all.

 

Baseball truly is the national pastime, attracting folks from all walks of life, all ethnicities, age groups and backgrounds. A true cross-section of our country’s citizenry.

 

One of the things that struck me was at the beginning of each game when the U.S. Flag was presented on the playing field and the National Anthem was played.

 

On the first day, I was in my seat when the National Anthem was played,  I happened to be up on the mezzanine the second day at the start of that game.

 

Down in the seats when the Anthem began, immediately all the fans came to their feet, people wearing hats removed them and everyone placed their hand over their chest. As far as I can tell everyone was showing respect as the flag was presented and while the National Anthem was being sung. Many were singing along to the words.

 

On the second day, I was trying to get to my seat when the National Anthem began. It was hard to hear with so many people milling around up on the mezzanine, folks buying hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, drinks etc. But within a few moments, people realized what was going on and they stopped walking or moving around and stood at attention, removed their caps and paid respect while the anthem was being played. The over 38,000 fans in the ballpark quieted to almost a hush.

 

 

Each time, at the end of the anthem, the vast majority of people waved their caps and cheered.

 

As an old school, patriotic guy, who was raised to respect the flag and all that comes with it, it was encouraging to see this.

 

Of course, these days,  if you watch or read the news, you would think the exact opposite would be the case. With the nightly news stories of protests and dissension seemingly everywhere all the time, it would be easy to start believing our entire population is at odds with everyone and everything.

 

It was a reminder that in many ways we have a lot more in common with each other than we think. It is my belief, that most American citizens still respect the flag and understand the importance of recognizing there is something more important and bigger than one’s self.

 

This all reminds me of my absolute favorite moment of the National Matches each year at Camp Perry. Without question, my favorite moment is COLORS.

 

It is so impressive to see hundreds (pistol phase) or thousands (rifle phase) of competitors stop, immediately turn and face the flag and stand at attention and remain quiet and respectful for the duration of colors. It always gives me chills and fills me with pride. This is what national pride is all about. Regardless of our day to day differences, I believe a majority still understand that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Sure we have room for improvement, but it is good to remember that there are millions if not billions all across the globe that would trade everything they have just for the chance to live in America.

 

I’ve been fortunate to have traveled to dozens and dozens of countries worldwide. Many of these places were developing countries that by any definition would be considered very poor. When you see how the other half live, it certainly puts things in perspective. These are not countries where opportunity is readily available.

 

It is not lost on me, that Accuracy X, Inc. was founded in the middle of the most anti 2nd amendment Presidential administration in our country’s history.  It was also the worst economy in half a century.  Some thought it was crazy, to choose that moment,  to start a company that would specialize in building the finest custom 1911 pistols and custom rifles made. But I recognized we were starting Accuracy X, Inc. in the most opportunistic country on earth. A country where if you are willing to match a lot of hard work and determination to your dream, anything can happen. Accuracy X, Inc. is proof of that. In just a few short years we have taken the dream of building the world’s most accurate custom 1911 pistols and custom rifles to a reality.

 

There will always be differences in America. It’s all part of living in a free society. But as long as we remember that at the foundation of those differences, there are many more similarities, in the long run, I think we will be ok.

 

Whether at the ballpark or on the shooting range, each time I see everyone standing at attention, showing respect and honoring our nation’s flag and anthem, it reminds me as Americans we are more together than we are apart.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA6MYOeFS-M