Once again, my traditional Memorial Day post, first published in 2009, and updated just a little each year.
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 embarassing anklets. I wore them because the troop leader said we couldn't march without them, they were part of our official uniform. Marching was too cool to pass up. I wore them and bore the scorn.
All the school bands marched too, and the moms on 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.
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 red and white roses in the big blue vase in the dining room. I'll wear the tie-dyed tank top the Cuters and I made early one July. Red/White/Blue -- it makes for great patterns. I've got the plastic flag on my bike handles - the same one I bought with the Cuters at the 5 and Dime Store in New Buffalo in 1985.
Life is good.
As you pass the potato salad and watch the flag wave in the breeze, take a moment and remember those who gave their lives so that it can be so.