Virginia – November 23, 2015

Our trip to Virginia started with a visit to a top notch Karate studio called Potomac Kempo. The Flag for Hope field team set up early just as one of the classes was ending. We watched intently as a room full of men, women and children went through routines that seemed ancient.

Potomac Kempo Karate Flag for Hope

Potomac Kempo Karate Flag for Hope

Shaolin Kempo Karate is a martial art style that combines the five animal styles of Shaolin Kung Fu. Kempo blends the explosiveness of Karate, the grappling and floor work of Jujitsu and the punching power of Boxing. We find similarities in the melting pot of the United States that makes us stronger due to our differences. Pictured here are two young students excited to learn about the Flag and add their painted finger impressions to the chorus of Americans already there!

There was so much to do here that our nervousness eased until we recalled where we were going next.

Colin Powell's office Flag for Hope

Colin Powell’s office Flag for Hope

Driving over to General Colin Powell’s office was a chore. We wondered what we would ask, what he would say and who would be there. We entered his office where we were greeted and accompanied to a conference room by his Executive Assistant.

As we got acquainted the gravity of our visit hit us. After all we were meeting General Colin Powell and he was adding his painted impression as a Star on Flag for Hope. What an honor it was to see him walk in the door. The fog left quickly though as he was all business and we were reminded of his busy schedule. Uniformed personnel were waiting outside the conference room and we understood that despite our need to talk with him, we knew that time was of the essence and Marcos, Chris and Don got right to work. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Powell was one of the most powerful men on earth and his charismatic nature was apparent as soon as he entered the room. He spoke with authority and hastened us to explain what the Flag stood for.

Colin Powell Flag for Hope Star

Colin Powell Flag for Hope Star

We explained the Flag stood for Unity, Peace, Honor, Respect and Patriotism and as he inspected the Flag we couldn’t help but feel insecure. That is until a smile came across his face as he understood the gravity of thousands of Americans coming together towards a common vision of Peace and Unity.

Thank you General Colin Powell for your participation in the Flag for Hope Project and for your service to our great Country. We salute you Sir!

Virginia Photo Gallery