By Katherine Teague
Sunshine, smiles, laughter, horses, kids, parents, floats and decorations of RED, WHITE and BLUE all united in one purpose: to celebrate our great Nation and those who’ve faithfully served it with their lives.
Annually, the staff and many families and volunteers of Crystal Peaks participate in our local 4th of July Parade. This year was perhaps the most exuberant bunch we’ve ever had. Kids joined with our staff to adorn our horses with colors and decorations worn in celebratory salute to all veterans and military personnel. The result was spectacular as members of our herd sported glittering streamers in their manes and tails, painted stars and stripes, dazzling hats and even giant sunglasses. Kim led Hero with a banner laid over his back emblazoned with the words “‘Formerly Trooper’, Now a ‘Hero.’” As Crystal Peaks was announced at the mike, she shared his story of continuing hope with the crowd.
As our float glided along, the masses gathered as close to the action as possible on both sides. The CPYR staff, volunteers and families sitting atop proudly sang songs honoring America. As “God Bless America” joyfully rang out, our horses marched along carrying children on their backs who excitedly waved their gratitude to the troops of past and present in our midst. One of our staff, Jeff Gorham, walked along with the express mission to seek out those who’d served our country to thank them face-to-face for their valiant service. Troy drove the ranch’s red 1956 International truck in the parade, and he too would often stop—parking right in the middle—to get out and shake the hand of many of our nation’s heroes.
The parade was an event we were humbled to be a part of; a day hailing remembrance that our freedom is bought at a price. To all veterans and soldiers, and their families, we thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made to protect our country’s independence. We stand mightily blessed by each of you.