Patriotism is still alive in rural America folks! In fact, few places in the United States showcase the resilience of the American Spirit more than this small little town. It was only a few months ago that Ft. Davis was ravaged by a wildfire that burned 314,000 acres. Many families lost their homes. Ranchers lost valuable grassland already devastated by drought, livestock were lost and hundreds burned, fences were burned to the ground. Most ranchers had to sell off what cattle they had left because they had no where to put them.
|photo by Carolyn Nored Miller|
During the wildfire, this small town did what other small towns like Joplin, small towns in the South and in Minot, North Dakota have done - they banded together and took care of each other. Ranchers and cowboys fought their own fires beside the volunteer fire department and Foresty Service, they looked for each other's cattle and lended what little land they had left to pasture cattle for those that had lost everything. Neighbours took in those that had lost their homes, restaurants shut down to donate their time and their food to feed the hungry, churches opened up to serve first responders meals and volunteers poured in immediately to assist in distributing resources.
This weekend, Ft. Davis was ready for a celebration. The town was determined to show it's true colors and red, white and blue were displayed everywhere. And thank God, people showed up. Hundreds of people from all over the state came to celebrate the 4th with the townspeople. The parade seemed even larger this year. Several long time residents had their family reunions and were in the parade, the Prude Ranch summer camp kids filled flatbed trailers, the Ft. Davis National historic site Buffalo Soldiers marched, the Martinez family rode their horses, the Baize family rode side saddle, and anybody with a four wheeler or a dune buggy roared loudly down the parade route.
Every type of law enforcement or civic organization imaginable was represented from the Sheriff's Department, the Fire Department, EMS and Border Patrol. Apparently, the only rule is that there are no rules and anyone with a siren can be in the parade.
|Ft. Davis Methodist Church Float|
So if you ever want something different to do for the 4th of July, and you feel like driving a long way to Far West Texas to a little town in the mountains called Ft. Davis, please do. It will be worth the drive. They'll probably even put you in the parade!
|The Patriot and Rooster Cogburn - can you get any more American that that?|