Journal of A New Nation's Journey West
 
June 12 - 29, 2002

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Friday June 28, 2002: Astoria, OR - Portland, OR
Mission Accomplished
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This last traveling day of our exhibition exhibited perfect Lewis and Clark weather at Fort Clatsop - Rain. we got a real feel for the experience of the Corps of Discovery. Even in the rain our local hosts Rae Goforth and Barbara Minard, gave their usual excellent interpretaions of Fort Clatsop and Astoria.

 

 

 

Barbara especially pleased the naturalists with her tour of the local vegetation - Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Red Cedar, and many other Clark saw.

High tea at a local BnB was a totally unique and interesting lunch; there was nothing else like it on the trip. 

Despite the rain the fort  flag was flying, so we got permission to take it down and replace it with ours, which had come all the way with us. We had also flown it at Fort Mandan.

All were impressed with completeness of the exhibits, especially the models of the three forts they built, and the Indian Canoe, which amazed them with its maneuverability in the choppy waters of the Columbia River estuary.

The two hour ride to Portland was quiet time as everyone dwelt in their own thoughts and reflections on the trip.

After dinner we had a very emotional closing ceremony. The flag was brought in by Honor Guard George Carr and Chuck Gaul, with hats resembling those of the Lewis and Clark highway signs. Mickey Dodge gave a stirring rendition of "God Bless America", that has made me forget, uh, what was her name?

This group had bonded more closely than any I have ever seen. Many of the people said they were encouraged to do more to preserve our history and instill it in their children and grandchildren. And Tom Chiu told us about a similar trail in China and his determination to try to create a tour similar to this one, to tell its story.

As part of the closing ceremony Bill Dudine and Jean Worley read the following

I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh, and Appomatox.
I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of france, in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, the beaches of Normandy, Guam, china Burma, India, Rome, Okinawa, Korea and KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam, and now me, my own battle.

I was there. I led my troops.
I was dirty, battleworn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me.
And I was proud.
I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free. It does not hurt for I am invincible.
I have been soiled upon, burned, torn, and trampled on the streets of my own country. And when it is by those whom I've served in battle -- it hurts. But I shall overcome for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness of all of America's finest hours, but my finest hours are yet to come.
When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier, or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter, I am proud.

My name is Old Glory, Long May I wave, Dear God in Heaven, Long may I wave.
 

 

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