Those fortunate enough to have attended at least one FDIC knows how special the opening ceremony is. Personally, it gives me the chance to meticulously put on my Class A, making sure that every button is placed correctly and polished to a perfect shine. Not because it may impress some prominent chief, or wow some of those who could not wear a formal uniform for whatever reason - it is simply my tribute to ALL who have come before me, and my way of saying "thank you" and "I will carry on the traditions you began". Another personal tradition that I have during opening ceremony is reading each LODD name that scrolls past the screen as we honor those who have fallen. Somehow this makes it more personal for me, and I feel they've undoubtedly earned the right to be remembered.
If you've never attended one of Chief Rick Lasky's classes on Pride and Ownership, trust me, you need to! His hilarious brand of "tough love" is equal to none and he tells it like it is - like it should be told. I owe Chief Lasky much - he is a dear friend and mentor. Chief, I have much more to say, but I'll do that in private.