Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Last week, I watched the Edinburgh Tattoo. Wow. Military heroes showcasing their skills blew me away. Soldiers who’d seen action in Afghanistan and Iraq deserve our respect whatever, but this blew me away.
My throat constricted when the massed pipes and drums marched out of Edinburgh Castle. I’d never understood the skirl of the pipes or the beat of the drums before. This time I felt them in my heart.
There were so many stand out performances, but I've found You tube links to two.
The Citadel is a regimental band that features 70 cadet musicians. Watch them. They bring a new energy to pipe and drum music. This is a long clip but three minutes in they perform some maneuvers I’ve never seen before, then 50 seconds later, you’ll see why I think their drum major is the best sort of crazy. Don’t miss them.
The other clip I want to share is one of the United States Air Force Honor Guard. Talk about man and machine melding into one. The only clip I could find came from a different performance, and again it's a long one. Six minutes in they perform a feat that still makes me gasp. Talk about teamwork and trust.
These men put their lives on the line for their country, but still find the time to practice like this, but not all heroes are military.
After we’d visited Edinburgh, we visited Tynemouth. It has amazing beaches and a ruined cliff top priory.
That’s where my second group of heroes showed up. Outside the prior the biggest group of bikers pulled up. Gulp. All that black leather and testosterone was scary.
Britain has a fourth emergency service—the coastguard, but we also have the RNLI –That’s the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. It’s a voluntary organization. Their seamen--every day folk like you and me--put their lives on the line to perform daring air / sea rescues. For free.
Their equipment’s comes from grants and public fundraising. Guess what? They are always short of funds. No surprise there then. Hence their recent Go Orange For Independent Lifeboats campaign.
Okay, back to my scary bikers. The pulled up and dismounted, all swagger and power. Then they pulled out RNLI flags and collection boxes. They knew someone who’d drowned in the river despite attempts to save him, and they’d gathered in Tynemouth to raise money for the RNLI in his honor. That makes them heroes in my book. What about you?
What sort of hero makes your mouth water?