Colonel Steel: Patriotism Without Action Is Counterfeit: Photos By Ross Laver:

On June 8. 2010, Gate City welcomed Colonel Michael Steele to speak on the sacrifices of the American Soldier. Colonel Steele became legendary through the movie and book, Black Hawk Down. A fame and legend he and freely and outwardly shuns.

An excited group began to gather around 6PM for the presentation. By Seven Thirty, we counted over ninety guests. Beaux Pettys introduced Colonel Steel to the gathering.

Colonel Steele's presence was commanding. Through a computer projector with images behind him, he introduced us to several of the men with whom he'd had the honor of serving. He told us of their backgrounds and accomplishments and would tell us in what part of the country they were. The screen would then flash to where those brave men currently resided only to reveal their respective tombstones. These were bright men with great futures who loved their country - and died for freedom.

Colonel Steele showed us an American Flag, which was given him, that was pulled from the rubble of the World Trade center on 9/11. He flew the same flag over bases across Afghanistan and Iraq. "Freedom is paid for with blood," He said. "I hope that we will never again nonchalantly walk by our flag."

Much of what Colonel Steele imparted to us will not be reprinted or described here. Such were his observations, his experiences, and his memories - these could never really be conveyed, with any justice done to them, except by Colonel Steele. The sincerity and love with which he spoke about our Country, our freedom and our soldiers left us awestruck and renewed.

What could anyone do but give him the standing ovation which he deserved.

In addition to an autographed copy of Mike Karpovage's new novel, A Crown Of Serpents, Worshipful Master Donald Hall presents Colonel Steele with a tokien of our appreciation.
Norman P.