Gainesville, Texas was the next stop for the RV crew. Sandi McKenna and Rick Griffin, team MidLife Road Trip, were in Gainesville to answer the question: what makes this small town patriotic?
After touring the town and meeting members in the community we learned how its residents honor patriotism. Gainesville is the only town in the country to host Medal of Honor recipients and when a veteran visits Gainesville they are recognized by the community. During their stay many of the veterans will take the opportunity to speak with the the youth in the community about honor and sacrifice and will pay tribute to the men and women who are serving our country.
Patriotism in Gainesville is also displayed by the Walking Trail, a landmark signifying respect to the armed forces. The Walking Trail is a row of oak trees that have been planted for each Medal of Honor recipient who comes to visit Gainesville.
After the moving experience with the Walking Trail, it was off to a parade arranged by the town. The parade had more than 180 participates of children who donned America’s colors to show their support for our country.
Sandi McKenna was so impressed by the parade and how the community of Gainesville honored patriotism as a whole.
“What we have learned from this community is they are starting from the ground up with teaching their children about patriotism,” Sandi said. “Patriotism is something that they live and breathe.”
Mandy Davis, the representative for the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, was thrilled to have Best Of The Road in their town and spoke about the many soldiers who call Gainesville home.
“When we say things are bigger in Texas, I really think that rings true with our hearts, especially in Gainesville,” Mandy said. “Our soldiers when they come home they don’t stop being soldiers. They just do it in their homes and in their daily lives. What is modeled so well in Gainesville is to take the torch of patriotism and really teach it and implement it in the community and to our children.”