Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Now They Understand what Memorial Day is About

Today was Memorial Day, so my physical workout was a long bike ride which had occasion to encounter not one, but two Memorial Day parades, one for my own hamlet of residence and the other one, which stepped off three hours earlier, for the adjoining hamlet.

They had the usual marching groups, including but not limited to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Fire Department, VFW, Knights of Columbus, and the local high school marching band.  Because the local high school draws from both hamlets, the marching band did a double header and marched in both Memorial Day parades.

Each parade stepped off from its respective staging area in a shopping center parking lot, each marched along the road to its hamlet's respective veteran's memorial, at which each parade concluded with a memorial program recognizing the sacrifices of the fallen servicemen (and at least one servicewoman).

I attended the second ceremony, after which I struck up a conversation with a woman with whom I share a number of mutual acquaintances.  Her daughter, who plays clarinet in the high school marching band, came up to us after the ceremony.  She and her bandmates all stood at attention during each of the ceremonies; she was somewhat dismayed at the longwindedness of the speakers at the first ceremony, which lasted nearly 45 minutes.  The second ceremony was about half of that duration.

The daughter commented to her mother that, having stood at solemn attention, she understood the significance of Memorial Day in a way much unappreciated by many of the crowd of onlookers.  It is quite likely that the experience will have made a lifetime impression upon this fine young lady.

Another suggestion I heard was that those who will be lighting up their barbecues for Memorial Day should consider placing an empty chair at the picnic table, in recognition of the soldier who will not be joining the repast.

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