Nation of Patriots Homecoming 9/7/2019

My family walked over to Swan Park yesterday afternoon to attend the 10th annual Nation of Patriots homecoming.

A brief history lesson for those of you who aren't familiar with the NOP. It is a group that was started here in Beaver Dam that, every year, travels across the 48 continental states on motorcycles carrying an American flag relay-style in an effort to raise money for veterans in need. They have raised more than $1 million and that money goes toward everything from paying a veteran's electric bill to helping a veteran's family put Christmas presents under the tree for the kids. And, unlike other veteran's "charities," 100 percent of donations go toward this cause.

For those of us in town, we are treated to an annual motorcycle parade as the NOP brings the flag home. Hundreds of motorcycles fill the streets for this parade.

The event is much more emotional than you might think. I kept thinking about how much my dad would have enjoyed everything from the Vietnam Experience (a tent containing weapons, photos and other items from the Vietnam War) and Wisconsin Remembers: A Face for Every Name, which is a wall that shows photos of every Wisconsin resident listed on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington D. C. It was actually quite heartbreaking when you see the faces and realize most of them were just kids.

I think the highlight of all of this, for me at least, was when they introduced a WWII veteran to lead the opening prayer and the crowd gave him a spontaneous standing ovation for his service. It was a pretty amazing thing to watch and reminded me just how awesome this Beaver Dam-created event really is.


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