I almost didn’t go this year…

…but then I thought of my father who served in World War II.  And of my nephew who hasn’t met his new son because he’s on a ship somewhere near Iraq.  And of an old, old friend whom I never see anymore, but who served as a military policeman in the Vietnam War.  So I put on red, white, and blue and went to our small town’s Memorial Day parade and ceremony.  And I was glad I did.

For one thing, I’m a sucker for a marching band.  When the piccolos trill in Stars and Stripes Forever, it gives me chills.   Although my daughter graduated two years ago, I still know many of the kids in the band, and I’m still proud of what they do.  Besides, once a Band Parent, always a Band Parent.

Even more moving is seeing all the people who come to hear the honor roll of names called year after year.  Most of us don’t know any of the servicemen from our town who died for our country.  In fact, we don’t even know their families, but it doesn’t matter.  Those soliders and sailors and marines and pilots offered up their lives so that we could live our wonderfully ordinary, safe, healthy lives.  The hundreds of people of all ages gathered in front of our memorials  come to say thank you every year for that tremendous sacrifice.  I was glad to be one of the grateful crowd yet again.

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