Sunday, April 20, 2008

1st Annual Patriots' Day Walk

      The 1st Annual Patriots' Day Walk was held on April 19th , 2008 in Urbana , ohio.  This event was a celebration of freedom to commemorate the 233rd anniversary of "the shot heard round the world". On April 18th , 1775 Governor Gage ordered the redcoats to march into towns and seize and destroy all munnitions. On April 19th , 1775 the first shots were fired that would be the beginning of our countries fight for Independence and would insure  our rights to bear arms. 
    This local event was organized to exercise our rights and to bring awareness to the community of the legality of "open carry". The walk was held in downtown Urbana and the event participants walked about 3 miles of the downtown area. There were many people driving by and staring and a few people even pulled over and asked about the event. A number of informational flyers were handed out to all who asked about the event. All in all it was a very positive experience. The weather couldn't have cooperated any better and law enforcement was friendly and smiled when driving by. One well wisher came by at the gathering point to wish us well but was unable to attend.

As we headed toward the square at the center of town we came upon an elderly gentleman who was there in support but was unable to walk with us. He stood at that corner the entire time the group walked. He even handed out flyers to people who approached him with questions about the event. This gentleman was a Korean War Vet and we were deeply touched that he came and supported us the best way he could.


We made a stop at The Depot , a local coffee shop for a restroom break and to fuel up on water and coffee. The workers were very friendly and welcoming. A few customers seemed a bit startled but there was no major commotion. One woman entered The Depot while everyone was inside and said out loud " Oh no , I think I'll leave" and quickly exited the parking lot. No other negative comments were made.

After gathering for a group picture in front (several members had joined in after the walk began) we headed back up Miami Street. As we rounded the corner and headed up North main St. a truck pulled over and asked what we were doing. it was explained what the event was about and the feedback was very positive.
We ended the walk with a stop at The Family Table before parting ways. The waitress who greeted us as we entered was very friendly and was eager to hear all about the event. While we were there one gentleman approached us and said he was interested in the march but was a little unsure so he watched us. He sat with us and discussed his confussion on some of the laws. After a lengthy discussion he assured us he would join us during next year's event. Also , during our meal we noticed one guy leave the establishment and return with a pistol strapped on in support. Pretty cool.
We would like to thank Tom Horch and Mike Craft for helping organize this year's event. There were participants from several areas of Ohio. We would like to acknowledge all participants for making this event a success. From the Springfield area we had Rob and his two sons , Randy , Amber and Daniel. From Cincinnati we had Jeff ; Englewood we had Kent ; Allen and Alana came from Oxford and Paul from Columbus. Tom Horch brought along his daughter Christy and his wife Aileen who videotaped and photographed the event. I am sorry I didn't catch the old timers name on the corner but a special thanks to him. 
We would also like to thank the city of Urbana , the Urbana Police Department , the dispatcher who surely had to field a few calls from startled passers-by , The Depot and the Family Table for welcoming us warmly and those who stopped to share their support.


After the walk everyone was invited back to the Craft Shooting range for some target practice and Mike's world famous buffalo burgers and brats. Several people who were unable to make the walk due to work schedules were able to join us later in the afternoon. The weather cooperated for us long enough to get some shooting in before the skies broke open. Besides handguns everyone was able to shoot several different types of rifles and , to add a cherry on top of a perfect day , the 50 cal. You just can't shoot that baby without coming up smiling.

Here we see Tom Horch teaching his daughter Christy how to shoot her handgun.

Allen and Randy test their skills on the rifles.

Kent , our Vietnam Vet , proves you never get too rusty.

Here's Jeff on the Range. He traveled the furthest to get to our event.

Allen keeps a watchful eye on Alana.

Paul and Tom taking their turn at the 50 cal.:

You better believe that the 50 cal can do some serious damage to a backdrop. Time to stack up some new railroad ties gentleman.

It was a long day but for this little trooper it was just way too long. This picture was taken while the 50 cal was being shot less than 60 yards away. He never moved.

So glad to see everyone make it out there. We met some fantastic new friends. Mark your calender folks , next year will be bigger and better.