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66 hours in Edinburgh

Written by Kelly Atkins-Satterfield
Friday, 27 August 2010 09:22

When we started out on Friday, Aug. 20, we knew this would be a whirlwind trip, but we could not miss this for the world! As an elementary school teacher, my travel opportunities are dictated by our school calendar and board regulations regarding personal leave. The only way that I could get to see my son, Will Lewis, Class of 2013, perform was to leave on a Friday and return on a Tuesday and it had to be after the first two weeks of school. Talk about specific travel arrangements!

I was sure that I had packed everything but what I did not know is that I managed to pack Murphy's Law as well! Suffice it to say that it was a miracle we were able to get to our Tattoo performance on time - in the same clothes that we left Atlanta in! (Sound familiar?).

will_lewisOur family is of Scottish ancestry, so just being there was very emotional for me. But I never would have expected the flood of emotion that I felt when I saw my son standing outside his waiting area looking so handsome in his uniform! That, coupled with the fact that I had not seen him in almost a month, well let's just say that mom was a little teary!

At any rate, the performance was magical. The atmosphere is one that almost defies description. All 8,000 plus audience members were welcoming and supportive of all the bands there. Trent (Will's little brother) and I were seated by a family from England and were just amazed at the questions they asked once they found out we were from the U.S. Imagine my sincere surprise when they became a Citadel cheering section with Trent and me! It was very touching. They wanted me to point out Will and asked all sorts of questions about our band. There was no competition, no superiority, just 8,000 people loving the fact that they were about to witness a great show!

The Regimental Band and Pipes' performance was outstanding. These young men and women are a symbol of what is best about our country despite all the stereotypical ideas of what Americans are (and they have faced several instances of this) they carry themselves with dignity and class. There are quite a few people who have had to readjust their ideas about our citizens thanks to the wonderful ambassadors that they are!

We saw them perform and quite honestly I could not video it because I just wanted to take in every note and step and did not want my attention distracted by an electronic device. I'll buy the professional video for sure though. They were just amazing! They have developed such a sense of professionalism and confidence from being around these adult, professional military musicians. I even think that they are more of a unit now than they were when they left Charleston. I know that everyone will notice it when they return.

Now, 66 hours later we are back home in the land of people who drive on the correct side of the road, but are missing our son/older brother! We are so proud of him and ALL the members of The Citadel that are in Scotland.

In August of 1991, The Citadel performed at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo; that same August just a hop over the "pond" in Frankfurt Germany, Will was born. Ironic isn't it that now HE is performing on his birthday during The Citadel's second trip to the Tattoo. Happy Birthday Will!

Many thanks!
Kelly Atkins-Satterfield

Photo: Cadet Will Lewis, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Aug. 26, poses with members of The Imps, a motorcycle stunt team from London's East Side. The kids in The Imps became fast friends with the Band cadets.

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