Residents of Robson Ranch, an over-55 community just south of Denton, gathered Monday morning to honor the fallen, to remember the sacrifices made by those who have served in all the nation’s wars, and to show their support for those who serve today in the armed forces.
A crowd of approximately 200 participated for the brief, but heartfelt tribute; arriving from their nearby homes in patriotic red, white and blue, many sporting the military caps and emblems of their own service. Some traveled through the flag-decorated neighborhood in festooned golf carts, coming to the landscaped park surrounding a dedicated-brick patio overlooking a manicured golf course. Flags fluttered in the breeze, and although the day was cloudy, there was no rain.
Costumed flag-bearers stood at attention on the platform; and a cannoneer fired volleys from an adjacent knoll. The strains of “America The Beautiful” with guitar accompaniment drifted from the podium. Taps was played as all stood at attention while the flag was raised to full staff. A “flyover” was perhaps the highlight of the morning.
The event was sponsored by Robson Ranch’s active Support Our Troops organization. President Charles Runner presided at the tribute, with Jim Galbreath giving a short history of Memorial Day, and offering the invocation. He noted that during the nation’s history, many have “put on the cloth” of military service, and many have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Today, however, according to the organization, more than 90 per cent of Americans have never served in the military. The Robson Ranch group sponsors ceremonies for Memorial Day and Veterans Day in November, and posts flags throughout the community on July 4. In addition, they undertake various activities to support active-duty servicemen and women throughout the year, such as meeting returning troops at DFW airport, and organizing letter campaigns. They also maintain a list of all active duty personnel related to community residents.
The organization’s main fund-raising effort, a silent auction, is held in November in conjunction with Veterans Day activities. The memorial park was constructed in the community through the group’s efforts. Veterans Memorial includes paving bricks honoring the service of residents or relatives of residents, whether living or dead.
Memorial Day Tribute
Sporting red, white and blue and the military caps or emblems they had worn during their service, many of the Robson Ranch residents came to honor those who died in the service of their country. The over-55 community has a larger percentage of former service members than the population at large.
Service emblems — caps, patches and even a few medals — are worn with pride by those who have served in the nation’s military services. Even though Memorial Day was designed to honor those who died in service to the country during its wars, it is today viewed as a time to be aware of the sacrifices made by all who serve; in today’s world, fewer than 10 per cent have ever known active military service.
Wearing uniforms of past patriots, flag bearers stood at attention except during the invocation and the playing of Taps during today’s ceremony at Robson Ranch, in Denton County.
Respect for the Flag
Those at the ceremony stood at attention and watched as the Stars and Stripes and the POW-MIA flag were raised to full staff position at the conclusion of the Memorial Day ceremony Monday at Robson Ranch.
It wasn’t a jet or a large plane. But it was impressive nonetheless. A multi-pass flyover as a part of the Memorial Day ceremony for residents of Robson Ranch in Denton included an exhibition and dipping of wings by this beautiful private plane and its pilot.
Robson Ranch resident Don Willyard shows his Marine Corps pride with a bright red ballcap and military bearing at the Monday morning ceremony. As the patch states: “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.”
Patio of Honor
Inscribed bricks are mounted in the patio at the Veterans Memorial Park at Robson Ranch, where the honor flag is hoisted adjacent to a paved patio is also surrounded by concrete benches incscribed in honor of veterans; those who both lived and died in service to their country in a number of its wars.
The Stars and Stripes
Taps played quietly as the flags were hoisted to full position at the conclusion of the Memorial Day service on Monday at Robson Ranch near Denton. Approximately 200 residents gathered to pay tribute to the nation’s was dead and to honor those who serve today in the military.