Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I think that recycling this Memorial Day post has officially become a tradition. Here it is, again, updated for 2013.

  Happy Three Day Weekend, denizens!!
*****

I used to march in the Memorial Day parade. I was dressed in my Brownie uniform, and then in my Girl Scout uniform - replete with those hated anklets. I wore them because they said you couldn't march without them and marching was too cool to pass up, but the shame............

All the school bands marched too, and Benjamin Road provided the materials and the labor to make the capes the high school kids wore. There must have been a military presence there, but I didn't pay enough attention to notice. I was marching and I knew that, all over America, other kids were being Americans and marching, too. It was great.

In Marin, the Memorial Day parade was always good for a controversy or two. Or three. Should the anti-war protesters walk alphabetically in the main march, or have their own march, or walk 50 yards behind the official march? I especially liked this discussion: Should weaponry be allowed? That was fairly disingenuous even for Marin.

There were bands at this parade, too, and with Bobby Weir as the Grand Marshal you know the music was worth hearing, especially at the picnic in the park afterwards. Not exactly your typical VFW-sponsored event, but no one was complaining. It was Memorial Day; there had to be a parade.

I've got the flag G'ma bought us for a housewarming present, which replaced the one Dadooooo got us in Chicago. There are white lilies in a glass vase, with some red and blue additions just for today.  I wore the tie-dyed tank top the Cuters and I made early one July to the gym this morning.  I've got the plastic flag on my bike handles - the same one I bought with the Cuters at the Five and Dime Store in New Buffalo in 1985. Maybe next year I'll be strong enough to pedal up the hill to the house.

And I am grateful to Lois and Kevin and Kyle and Amy and Cat and Sara, and to Courtney and her sister and the 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron, and to Terry and Moose and Stroker and Uncles Chuck and Paul and Abby and to Aaron, clerking for a judge and carrying the memories of a convoy of trucks in the desert along with his diploma. 

The military gave me Dr. Rhee, who honed his craft on the battlefield and returned to create a system which saved my life.  It trained Dr. Bowman to triage in a crisis, and I am here to thank him in person.  

I'm watching jets fly overhead, aiming towards Davis-Monthan Air Force Base south of town.  There's a silent salute in my heart for those who are training to keep me safe, for those, like my youngest, bravest, nephew, who are awaiting their chance to serve.  

Life is good. Thanks to all those who've made it so.

5 comments:

  1. A terrific tribute. I remember the times when I marched in Memorial Day parades with the High School Band. Flags and soldiers everywhere -- which is as it should be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A lovely tribute. I used to march in the parades, too, with my Rainbow Girls Precision Drill Team. we wore majorette boots - not anklets. lol They gave me blisters!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy Memorial Day, and I second the thanks for Dr. Rhee's service, which gave him his expertise. xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
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