Elephants Pay Tribute to Nation’s Troops

Sometimes, “support our troops” is about political posturing. Other times, it’s about a particular mindset with regard to foreign policy. Once in a while, it’s about showing military members and their families—in a tangible way—that we’re grateful for their service. On June 11, El Pomar Foundation did that by inviting Pikes Peak region military families to a special performance of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.

On El Pomar’s fifth annual Military Appreciation Day, the foundation sponsored a special show open (and free) only to area military members and their families. Thousands of guests had a chance to visit the animals and enjoy a pre-show on the World Arena floor, and then sit back for the retooled circus spectacular.  Among other things, “Fully Charged” included Tabayara, “the world’s most thrilling animal trainer;” and Brian Miser, “the Human Fuse.”

Terrance McWilliams, El Pomar ’s director of military and veteran affairs, saw this seemingly simple affair as a kind of thanks these families rarely get. “The military and their families are unique in the fact that they have shouldered the burden of war for the past 10 years,” he noted. “The circus provided an opportunity for military families to relax for a brief moment as we, the community – showed our grateful appreciation for all the sacrifices they endure on our behalf.”

Jessica Knicely attended the performance with her two young sons. Knicely’s husband is deployed. As the fireworks went off and the clowns sprang into action she was struck by one thing.

“The looks on the kids’ faces,” she said, “are absolutely priceless.”

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