Memorial Day Weekend
Today is the beginning of the holiday weekend–that official weekend of the BBQ season, that weekend in which the Indy 500 is run and people from all over cheer for their favorite driver/team, that weekend in which families visit the cemeteries to place wreathes on the graves of family members who have gone before them. But first it was the weekend used to pay homage to those who fought and died for the freedoms given to the people of this country.
In small towns across the country parades will march down main streets, bands will play, members of the VFW and American Legion will march and wave or ride and wave to those standing curbside with hands over hearts as the high school band plays The Star Spangled Banner. There will be laughter, cheering, balloons and memories.
Toddlers will wave their tiny flags on a stick from their parent’s arms. Small children will race among the viewers or stand quietly beside the grown-ups, trying to discover why the parade is happening on this weekend. Teens will watch from the sidelines, some solemn for they have older siblings fighting overseas right now, or they know others who are in a war zone. Other teens understand that these men and women were parading for their great-grandfathers, grandfathers, uncles, or fathers.
Tears flow easily at these small cousins of big city celebrations. Perhaps it is because these citizens feel the loss of even one young person to war as a personal one. Maybe it is because they still remember the reason the holiday was created. Regardless of reason, this small town parade has significance to these citizens.
And in just over a month they will come together again for another parade. This one will commemorate the founding of this country and the reason why Memorial Day’s creation was allowed. The Fourth of July has also become a holiday of BBQ’s, picnics, swimming parties, and let’s not forget fireworks. Those fireworks symbolize the rocket’s red glare referenced in The Star Spangled Banner performed a month earlier during that Memorial Day parade in a small town in the USA.
And what are your plans for this weekend?
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