September 26, 2010

SALUTING OUR TROOPS AND PRIDE FOR AMERICA, WEST CHESTER VICTORY RALLY – 9/25/10

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 2:12 pm

Patriots came from all over to show public support for our troops and love for America.

Army father Ernie held the flag for us as we sang the National Anthem and said the Lord’s Prayer for our troops protection and success.

Ernie is a Navy vet and his son, Tyler has been in the Army since 2006. Tyler is a graduate of a West Chester East High School. We have a lot of military family members that attend our rallies and their kids become our kids. We love them, we’re proud of them and they are always in our thoughts and prayers.

Here’s Cody, he’s a Marine and an Iraq war veteran. He was walking by and stopped to say hello and thanked us for what we are doing, “It means a lot to us,” he said. Standing by his side are Airborne vets Leon (Korean War) and Barry (Vietnam War).

Thanks to all who came out to stand up for all the good things our nation does and has done, fighting to free the oppressed and seeking true peace and justice around the world.

THANK YOU TROOPS! THANK YOU MILITARY FAMILIES! GOD BLESS THE USA!

September 18, 2010

WEST CHESTER PRO-TROOP, PRO-AMERICA RALLY – 9/18/10

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 3:30 pm

My mom came to the rally and brought homemade banana cupcakes to celebrate my birthday.

She’s the greatest patriot I know. She taught me and all six of her kids to love our country and not blame it, to respect our military, love them, and be proud of them. Help others, pray, work hard, not make excuses, and be happy.

We had another great turnout. Thanks to everyone for making it happen.

September 13, 2010

NEWSPAPER AND VIDEO COVERAGE OF MIKE HORROCKS DAY – 9/12/10

Filed under: Heroes,Patriots — Rich Davis @ 10:20 am

The cover of the program sold at Saturday’s WCU football game. Looks a lot like the statue, the sculptor did a great job.

Here’s Jane’s terrific video of the bagpipers leading the parade into the ceremony, it’s real good, click HERE.

There are several outstanding newspaper articles and videos about Mike Horrocks Day in West Chester on Saturday 9/11.

One article focused on Mike’s relationship with his daughter, it’s excellent.

“It was a quick phone call between father and daughter, with the 9-year-old lamenting that she didn’t want to get out of bed, didn’t want to go to school. But United Airlines co-pilot Mike Horrocks had a way of getting his daughter, Christa, going. After a few kind encouragements, she decided school wouldn’t be so bad. Then came the last words they would ever share: “I love you up to the moon and back,” he told her.”

Christa’s memories of her father seem perpetually locked on the good times surrounding the Labor Day weekend before the attack. The family was boogie-boarding at the New Jersey shore. She was in the fourth grade. The seas were rough. He was gentle.
“He would pull the board forward so I would not get swept under the waves,” she said. “I think that’s a good example of how he was with everything. He just wanted to make sure we were taken care of and were having fun in everything we were doing.”

“Every decision I make, I try to think what he would do,” she said.

Click HERE to read more.

To read the Philadelphia Inquirer articles click HERE and HERE

Here’s a couple videos of the three Marine C-130 planes that did a flyover of the football field right before kickoff.
The first one was taken by Betsy, who attended both our rally and the ceremony with her husband and 3 young children.
Betsy’s Video

Video Two

Video Three

DONATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS may be still made to the Michael Horrocks Scholarship Fund. The teammates have raised about $150,000 for the endowment. The goal is $500,000.

Checks can be sent to:
West Chester Athletic Dept
PO Box 541
West Chester, PA 19381

(payable to “WCU FOUNDATION” and write “HORROCKS SCHOLARSHIP” on the MEMO line)

For information, email KGraves@WCUFoundation.org or call Kris Graves at the WCU Foundation at 610-436-2557

September 12, 2010

“MIKE HORROCKS DAY” AT WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY – PERFECTION AND TRIUMPH – 9/11/10

Filed under: Heroes — Rich Davis @ 5:17 pm

Yesterday’s “Mike Horrocks Day” at West Chester University was perfection. The hillside and ceremony area was overflowing with people. They expected a few hundred, but there was over 2000 to witness the unveiling of the life-size statue. Special gold “Never Forget Mike Horrocks” T-shirts were everywhere. When they took the cover off the statue, the crowd erupted in applause and there were some gasps of astonishment at how striking and beautiful the statue is.

When Mike Horrocks was the WCU quarterback he was respected and loved by his teammates. In his first start, they were 35-point underdogs against the University of Delaware, but Mike guided them 35-27 upset victory. He kept telling his teammates, “We can do this.” He gave them confidence and kept them calm. A couple years ago his teammates got permission to build a statue. A teammate said, “A plaque under the stands wasn’t going to do. We wanted a statue right next to the field that the players could see and touch.” They took donations and held all kinds of fundraisers, including dinners, golf tournaments and sporting pools. Slowly but surely they inched closer to the goal line and yesterday was the touchdown. The statue was unveiled. A testimony of triumph for these college football players, now grown men. We congratulate them for their ambition and determination to make this history at West Chester.

The whole day was great. The unique bond that develops between players was front and center. These guys epitomize the word “teammate”. It was 25 years ago that they all played together and about 40 of them were onhand to see this “team effort” through. They came from all over and they reunited to bring “the best of them” to the field where they practiced, sweated, played, and grew close together. As teammate John Minnino said, “We’ve been reminiscing and this field was like heaven to us.” They were all smiling, feeling warm inside about their amazing accomplishment and gift to their beloved football team and alma mater.

The special bond forged in the military was evident too. The Marines from Mike’s North Carolina squadron were present to show the pride, excellence, honor and loyalty that the Marines have for each other. “Leave no man behind” is the Marine Corps motto and they did their part to bring Mike home. The Commander spoke about the different missions the squadron conducts on a 24/7 – 365 schedule, including humanitarian and special operations in total darkness requiring nightvision goggles. He said, “These were the kinds of missions that Mike flew in the Marines.”

The bond of commercial airline pilots was there too. Many fellow United Airline Pilots were present.

The Horrocks family were truly touched by the tremendous outpour of support from the community. The huge, overflow crowd were all there to let the Horrocks know how much they love them. The Washington Memorial Pipe Band and the Brian Boru Pipes & Drums set the mood with festive bagpipe music that filled the air.

The speeches were terrific, WCU President Greg Weisenstein set the tone by declaring just how magnificent the statue looked and how fitting and important it will be to the students and athletes that come to WCU, inspiring them to “be great”.

The highlight of the day was when Mike’s daughter Christa spoke. She is 18 now, a freshman at a college in South Carolina. An athlete herself, she’s there on a track scholarship. Christa really helped flesh out her father, she said, “He’s not a hero because of how he died, he’s a hero because of how he lived.”

She told stories of how she and her dad would often watch the movie “Sandlot” (sports movie) and there’s a quote in the movie that was a favorite of her dad, “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die.” Christa said she didn’t get the significance of this quote father’s when she was little, watching the movie craddled in his arms, but she gets it now. She thanked everyone for sharing the stories of her father with her, “Your stories keep his legend alive and help to clear away the fog that occurs to memories and bring him clear into my mind again.”

She began her speech by turning towards all the current football players sitting on the hill, “Let me start by saying ‘Go Rams’ ”

She told us how her father loved playing football at West Chester, how much it was always a big part of him. She challenged the crowd saying, “What will your legend be?” At her side at the podium was her 15-year old brother Mick, both of them were wearing special purple #14 football jerseys with “Horrocks” on the back. Christa’s speech lasted about 10 minutes and every word of it was great. She did an outstanding job of representing the family and giving us some personal insights into who her father was. You could hear a pin drop as she spoke and all through the crowd were smiles, moist eyes and lumps in throats. She was standing next to the statue of her father and you could tell that his arm was around her, holding her again, with great pride.

The WCU Marching Band was outstanding as usual. They played hits like “Stars and Stripes” and the Marine Corps Anthem and God Bless America. Teammate Paul Isenberg read the plaque on the front of the statue. The words were written by Mike’s teammates and Paul was very moved as he read it for the crowd.

The Daily Local has 2 outstanding articles, with pictures and a one-minute video. Click HERE and HERE.

The statue is part of the university now and the players, students, professors, and staff will take ownership of it. As the team ran onto the field for their first homegame of the season, they all touched the statue. May it inspire them to greatness on the field, in the classroom, and beyond.

Previous Daily Local News stories are HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

SPECIAL 9/11 RALLY IN WEST CHESTER – 9/11/10

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 3:00 pm

About 150 people turned out at the Chester County Courthouse in West Chester to remember the attacks of 9/11.

We were honored to be joined by Marine Jerry and Army Dan, current military members and Iraq combat veterans.
Captain Dan held the flag for us when we sang the National Anthem and we remembered Mike Horrocks, a local hero, killed on 9/11/2001.

We will never forget what happened on 9/11. We remember the bravery of the medics, firemen, and police who were heroes trying to save others. And we especially remember Mike Horrocks, the West Chester University football player (’82-’84) who was one of the pilots of the plane that hit the 2nd tower. We pray that God will bless the families of all those who were suddenly taken from us, have mercy on them and give them His comfort and strength.

September 5, 2010

WEST CHESTER VICTORY RALLY – 9/4/10

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 1:49 pm

Fun rally, many new faces, vets, and military family members came out and stood tall showing public affection for our brave troops and their noble missions. Thanks to all who came out and made it happen.

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