BOERNE, Texas – Almost two decades later, there’s still a lot of unrest and pain surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks that forever changed the United States of America.
In Boerne, the nonprofit Legacy Farmstead will host a special event to honor the warriors that have protected both our nation and our liberty.
Legacy Farmstead was founded by John and Amy Henderson. Their mission is to provide equine therapy to active duty as well as retired first responders, military and their families.
“We want to host the veterans and military who served in Afghanistan,” John said. “Just hearing what (the families) are feeling, what they’re going through by leaving that country still in unrest, we just wanted to put something together for them.”
The Hendersons will host their first Patriot Picnic at Legacy Farmstead this Sunday. The event is free and will feature live music, food and a chance for guests to interact with their animals.
“We feel like it’s important to not just take the service member, but take their entire family and provide them an experience of healing together,” John said.
The idea of an event actually began as a tribute to the 13 U.S. troops killed just days before America’s longest war ended in Afghanistan. A table will be reserved to honor those brave Americans.
“Several of them were around 20 years old,” Matt Mattera said. “They were very, very young. So, to see that, we need to honor these brave men and women. They could have been doing something else in their life and they decided, ‘Hey, I’m going to put my life on the line to serve my country in a place that is dangerous during a time that is uncertain to get our American citizens out there and our Afghan allies and partners,’” Mattera said.
Mattera, a recently retired Naval officer and founder of the Elizabeth Mattera Foundation, will help the Hendersons set up the tribute.
“The flag that’s going to be used at that table is actually my retirement flag that was flown over the Alamo,” Mattera said. “We will also be a kabar there. A kabar is the traditional weapon of the United States Marine Corps. and we lost a lot of Marines in that attack. We will put dog tags and a set of boots as a memorial to honor the fact that we lost 13 brothers and sisters over there.”
Mattera hopes to build community with those present at Sunday’s event.
“You don’t need to feel like you need to shoulder this big burden by yourself,” Mattera said. “There are people that want to come alongside you and honor the sacrifices that you’ve been through. They want to honor those that have been fallen and be able to forge ahead on a path that has a light at the end of the tunnel.”
The event is on Sunday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
For more information or to RSVP, click here.