[As the former British colony of Virginia approaches what used to be referred to as Independence Day in North America, there’s nothing like English and Hessian troops marching through Norfolk with their national flags proudly held aloft. And it’s never too early for children of thirty NATO nations to fraternize on the parade ground; you can never tell when they may meet up with each other again in some war zone or around a nuclear crater in Europe, Asia, the Middle East or Africa.]
“When you work together and when you live as a community, as we do here in Norfolk you see firsthand, you see your children with the children of fellow NATO members. It’s incredible. And that’s what really makes the bond. It’s that personal connection of all of us together,” said Lieutenant Colonel George Vriniotis.
During the ceremony, NATO’s 30 Member Nations presented their national flags, while the United States Fleet Forces Band performed a cultural sampling of music, a demonstration of the diversity and strength of the NATO Alliance.
“You’re seeing 30 nations working together to deliver security to over a billion people in North America, Canda [sic] and across Europe,” said Vice Admiral Bennett. “Without working together we don’t have the political or military power and support to be able to achieve that.”
As Norfolk is home to NATO’s only two commands on the continent, the significance of the festival wasn’t lost.