I participated in the Memorial Day Parade again this year in our little Village of Milford. Milford is one of those Mayberry RFD type towns and the Memorial Day parade is one of our best parades of the year for all of the right reasons. First off it’s totally non-commercial. There are no business vehicles with signs all over them and no politicians handing out campaign literature. No candy is thrown for the kids and there are no balloons or clowns.
The Milford parade has the spectators lining the entire route, especially Main Street all the way through the downtown, and applauding as the veterans ride or march by. A local florist donates flowers for the children to hand out to the vets. Many people make signs, all saying “Thank You” or “Thank you for your service”. Some stand and salute the vets as they pass. Most parents explain to their children the meaning of the day and the sacrifices that the marchers have made for everyone’s sake. The younger one’s don’t really understand, but they stand and wave and yell Thank you anyway.
I rode in today’s parade; not because I couldn’t walk it, but they were asking for volunteers to ride so that the people who volunteered their personal Jeeps wouldn’t feel bad about not having a passenger. Most of the riders are elderly vets who can no longer make the walk on their own. The Jeep ahead of me had a man who is a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. There are fewer and fewer surviving WWII vets here and elsewhere.
As I rode along today, waving at the people lining the way, a little girl ran up to the Jeep from out of the crowd and gave me this card. I’m pretty sure that at 2 years old, she didn’t make it all by herself. Her older sister was there with her and may have helped some; but the enthusiasm and pride that she showed as she thrust the card to me was all her own. I had been given a flower earlier, a carnation I think; and I gave it to her in return. Somehow I know that we will be OK as a nation as long as we keep honoring those who serve our nation and as long as we keep raising our children like that little girl is being raised.
It was another great Memorial Day Parade in small town America. Have a great week ahead. I know that I will.