In all my years as a Knight, I have seen countless occasions where our Color Corps have turned out for events that required a significant amount of time on their part for preparation, rehearsing, driving to/from the event, and then execution of the event itself. It can be a thankless job. I don’t want today to be one of those times.
Today, as Vice President of the National Christopher Columbus Association, I hosted the annual Columbus Day Celebration at the statue in front of Union Station in Washington D.C. It’s always an impressive event with the Marine Corps Band, the Honor America Corps, dozens and dozens of Color Corps members, in collaboration with the National Park Service, the Embassies of Italy and Spain, and over two dozen patriotic organizations.
Given the weather predictions we were getting all the way up to last night – it was posing to be a real concern. Vice Supreme Master Richard Head called me to say he was going to allow the Color corps the option to stand down because of pending rain throughout the morning and the concern about costly regalia being ruined in the rain.
Columbus Day does not get a rain day, it either happens or it doesn’t. In spite of the VSM giving his men the option to stay home because of pending rain, I was pleased to see several members of the Color Corps from D.C., Maryland and Virginia – along with the Masters of the Maryland and Washington Districts, the Provincial Marshall, and the Master of the Virginia District who lives in the Tidewater, Va. area; all in attendance. I arrived an hour before the event, they were there several hours before me.
The event started with a light sprinkle, and as the program got underway, the rain picked up. I tried to accelerate the program but the rain continued to get heavier. We cut the agenda down and moved right to the floral wreath presentations, 24 in all. My Brother Sir Knights stood their ground in what was now a pretty steady rain. They escorted each organization through the presentation, assisting them in the rain as necessary, got soaking wet, BUT THEY STAYED!
As soon as the last wreath was presented, I thanked the attendees and they left. But the Color Corps deserve more than just a “thank you for coming”.
I am proud to be associated with men like this; I respect highly what they did for all of us today, and am thankful that they are a part of my life.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to the Color Corp, the attached picture of the flyer that was tucked safely in a plastic sleeve in my binder throughout the whole ceremony, tells the story better than I could.
Peter Davio, PSD
National Christopher Columbus Association