Our National Symbol On Wings In Farmville And Afghanistan

Published 3:41 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On a day filled with gray sky, the eagle's white-plumaged head stood out, even from 100 yards.

Yes, a bald eagle in Farmville, perched like a sentinel-no, a regal king-atop a tree approximately 100 yards off the Sarah Terry Trail at Wilck's Lake. Wait for a moment and the big bird spreads its wings, majestically glides closer and pauses on another tree before flying off over the treetops and out of sight. No mistake. A bald eagle.

To go with the osprey that live near the lake and its trail.

The clouds are spitting cold rain as the temperature nears 40 degrees but the encounter with the bald eagle is worth any quickly forgotten chill.

There is undoubtedly something majestic about a bald eagle but it doesn't come close to the vision of 2006 Prince Edward County High School graduate and Marine Corporal James Matt Kelley running through enemy fire in Afghanistan to save a two-year old girl in April, just as he had carried an injured Marine corpsman through 800 meters of enemy fire to a rescuing helicopter in December.

That bald eagle at Wilck's Lake, every bald eagle, has a lot to live up to.

Prince Edward County High School's Eagle has them all trumped.