Saturday, May 29, 2010

Everybody Loves a Parade!

There's something fully American about Memorial Day Weekend. A celebration that is the sum of its parts.
- Backyards with barbeques.
- Children with tiny flags.
- Families with friends.
- Parades with veterans and marching bands.
- People with red, white and blue attire.
- Houses and businesses with red, white and blue bunting.
- Graves with red flowers.

We began our Memorial Day Weekend at the North Iowa Band Festival in Mason City, Iowa, the real-life River City of Meredith Willson's "The Music Man." Our family of four experienced the parade in different ways and yet came home with the same sense of appreciation for all things patriotic:

• Skye marched with our high school's band while playing one of the - at least - 76 trombones on parade today.
• Stross donned his uniform as flag bearer for Troop 19 and joined (nearly) 100 other boys honoring the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouts.
• Mark facilitated Stross' parade experience.
• I dropped the three of them off, picked them up and took in the whole of what happened in between.

The Memorial Day Weekends of my childhood were filled with cemetery visits, grave decorating, special patriotic services and community dinners. At a young age, I learned lessons about America that taught me the meaning of freedom and the luxuries afforded us because of our liberties.

Because I learned so early, I think it will be difficult for me to ever forget. I'm grateful my children are learning now. May they never have to feel the heat of battle in their country's backyard or witness the horrors of war that befell our country's fallen soldiers.

Thank you for serving America with your lives. Because of you, we have the pleasure of full, fun-filled weekends that are fully American.

I know the fight for our freedoms never ends. Thank you for continuing on despite the high cost. The debt can never be paid.

Sweet land of liberty. Of thee I sing.

P.S. - Happy 16th Birthday to my neice and nephew - Jordan and Stuart! (Jordan, you did a great job as drum major! And, Stuart, fantastic on trumpet!)

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