Tag Archives: Dan Pritchett

Memorial Day 2017 … Small Town Honors Fallen With Moment of Silence

American flag 5

The annual Memorial Day tribute in front of our house from my Air Force Vietnam-era veteran husband.

On this Memorial Day weekend, a special memory comes to mind that epitomizes the meaning of the day.

It was Memorial Day in 2009 in the central Shenandoah Valley. My sister and I had made a last-minute trip to the local Food Lion in Staunton for a forgotten cookout item when now-retired manager Dan Pritchett’s voice came over the intercom at the Coalter Street store. In his soft southern voice, he addressed employees and customers:

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is Memorial Day. The store will shut down for the next 60 seconds as we observe a moment of silence in honor of America’s fallen heroes.”

Perhaps this is one of the things I love most about living in a small town.

Dan Pritchett

News Leader photo

It was 3:00 pm on Memorial Day, the time of the national moment of silence. The cashiers stopped checking out customers. Muzak was turned off. Customers paused in aisles while employees ceased working. The store was essentially shut down and for the next 60 seconds all observed a moment of silence for America’s fallen military heroes. Among those was an uncle I never knew, a casualty of battle in Germany just six weeks before the end of World War II in Europe.

Thanks to Mr. Pritchett, the small town of Staunton in western Virginia paused to remember … this town that is home to the Stonewall Brigade, the 116th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army National Guard, founded in 1741 and active during the Civil War, World War II, and most recently deployed to Bosnia, Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan … this community that turns out when troops deploy and return from battle.

It is also home to the Statler Brothers whose “More Than a Name on a Wall” is their own hauntingly poignant tribute to those who died for God and country, and returned home draped in the American flag: “She said, ‘Lord my boy was special and he meant so much to me. And oh I’d love to see him just one more time, you see. All I have are the memories and the moments to recall. So Lord could You tell him he’s more than a name on a wall.’ ”

Freedom is not free….

Staunton area community welcomed home the Stonewall Brigade in 2011 after deployment to Iraq.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell

Tagged , ,

Pat Haley: ‘We smiled as we left Staunton, Virginia’

Pat Haley 2By Patrick Haley
Guest Post

Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame, back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”

We did, in a sense, go home again, at least for seven days. Staunton, Virginia, is not our hometown, but was home to Brenda and me for twelve of the happiest years of our lives. We spent the whole week in Staunton. We saw old friends and journeyed to the Gypsy Hill Park, Staunton Braves Stadium, and Wright’s Dairy-Rite where car hops still come out and take your order. Little has changed from the day it opened in 1952.

As we walked the winding hills in town, up past Trinity Church, and up the street to Mary Baldwin College, wonderful things began to happen. We remembered our motor scooter rides around town, and how Doc Haley, our poodle, used to sit under our large maple tree and listen to the Robert E. Lee High School band practice. The memory made us smile and nod.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Memorial Day national moment of silence honored by small town

American flag 5

The annual Memorial Day tribute in front of our house from my Air Force Vietnam-era veteran husband.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

It was Memorial Day in 2009 in the central Shenandoah Valley city of Staunton when manager Dan Pritchett’s voice came over the intercom at the Food Lion grocery store located on Coalter Street. In his soft southern voice, he addressed employees and customers:

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is Memorial Day and the store will shut down for the next 60 seconds as we observe a moment of silence in honor of America’s fallen heroes.”

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Memorial Day 2009 … small town honors America’s fallen heroes as Food Lion pauses for moment of silence

Dan Pritchett

News Leader photo

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[Editor’s note: I originally wrote this in 2009 after I was in Mr. Pritchett’s grocery store at the national moment of silence and heard him on the store intercom with the message of silence. As he finishes out his last week at Staunton’s Coalter Street Food Lion before retiring, this is a special remembrance of a special man who made a difference in our community.]

Manager Dan Pritchett’s voice came over the intercom at Staunton’s Food Lion grocery store located on Coalter Street as he addressed employees and customers:

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is Memorial Day and the store will shut down for the next 60 seconds as we observe a moment of silence in honor of America’s fallen heroes.”

 

Perhaps this is one of the things I love most about living in a small town.

It was 3:00 pm on Memorial Day … time for a national moment of silence. The cashiers stopped checking out customers … the Muzak was shut off … customers paused in the aisles … employees ceased working … the store was essentially shut down … and for the next 60 seconds everyone observed a moment of silence for America and our fallen military heroes.

Thank you, Mr. Pritchett.

Tagged , , , , ,
SBC Voices

Southern Baptist News & Opinion

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

LynnRMitchell.com

Virginia politics and more