MEMORIAL DAY in our town is a special occasion.
Standing beside the highway
we awaited the moment when the parade would come into view.
It’s an exciting time for folks, young and old,
to celebrate the lives and service which many have given
for our country.
We could hear the high school band playing
several blocks away
as they announced their arrival.
We heard the foot tapping music of the parade,
God Bless America
and I’m Proud To Be An American.
The county fire trucks were blowing their sirens
as they slowly drove along the parade route.
The driver in each truck waved happily to the crowds
as they passed by.
People dressed in clown suits walked on either side of the highway,
giving candy to the children
who were enjoying the fun.
Each and every road leading to the main highway
was blocked off by law enforcement
until the parade had passed.
This year, the highway near the library
was our place to watch the parade.
Next to us, a young Mother and her two little girls
waited excitedly for the moment when the American flag and the high school band
would pass directly in front of them.
I could hear the young woman softly advising her daughters
to stand on the curb until the parade was in view.
She told them,
“When the American flag passes by,
stand quietly with your right hand over your heart,
face the flag until it has passed.”
(And she showed them, which hand was the right hand,
and where one’s heart is located.)
She didn’t know I was listening, but I’m pleased that I was.
Through the years,
and especially the last few years,
I’ve found that certain moments can bring me to tears.
This was one of those moments.
I’m sad that we may have forgotten the need
to teach our young children
respect for other people,
our country’s flag, traditions and beliefs.
We’ve somehow overlooked the responsibility of passing these legacies
to the children of future generations.
The quiet young Mother and her little girls left a lasting impression on me.
God Bless The USA
Photography By Mary Anne Tuck