This morning, I attended a traditional veteran recognition event at the New York Stock Exchange. My good friend and Marine Ben Cascio and Marine Mark Stanton, Ben’s crew chief from Vietnam, and I were special guests to observe the pre-Opening Bell celebration of Veteran’s Day.
We arrived prior to 0800 and were treated to a walk-through of the new exchange photo museum and then a sit-down breakfast with two very fine NYSE managers who were intrigued by Ben’s in-country stories.
Around 0900 we made our way onto the floor (past the security guards who are former Marines) along with a couple dozen Marines in their Blues and we mingled about while a cake was cut and served. We had one-on-one time with MGen Spiese (Deputy Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force, and Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Brigade.)
|Cpl. Beddoe with Marine Major General Melvin Spiese|
Ben presented him with a framed photo Ben took of the Twin Towers in August 2001. The General was most appreciative.
|Ben Cascio presents MGen Spiese with his WTC photo|
Then the entire trading floor went into complete silence as a Marine Staff Sergeant played a wonderful rendition of TAPS followed by the standard fanfare of the traditional Opening Bell signifying the start of trading for 11/11/11.
|Mark Stanton, MGen Spiese, Ben Cascio|
We then met with another acquaintance of mine, a very special Marine who has worked on the trading floor for 50+ years and did we ever enjoy hearing some of his stories…
|There are Marines everywhere!|
|Observing the Opening Bell|
Needless to say, the experience was one to be treasured forever. We thank our NYSE hosts for inviting us and most of all, we thank all active duty, veterans, and their families who sacrifice and have sacrificed so much.