Memorial Day Thank You

The cool breeze was annoying on my arms as I stood waiting for the first glimpse of the police motorcycle coming around the corner on Washington Street. In that half hour of waiting I looked at the faces that stopped in the sidewalk to say "good morning Bea" or "how are you feeling today Lois?" and "my these children have grown so big!". My grandmother would go into a long story, my Aunt Lois would try to keep us children amused and grandpa just sat on the porch in his chair with an occasional ahhhyaa in his mainer way! Oh how I miss that tradition.
It was Memorial Day and that heralded the beginning of summer and fun. My sister and I always wanted to wear a summer dress all starched and swirly on that day, thus the reason for the uncomfortable breeze that stung my arms. It seemed to be sunny each memorial day but sometimes it was only 50 degrees and my grandmother's side of the street was in the shade, from the large maple trees that lined the street. I imagined that the breeze was God's way of dispersing all of the helicopter seedlings that flew from the branches in those trees. We would make funny noses with them while we waited for the parade to round the corner.
Then! There it was, the sound of the motorcycle with blue flashing lights and the silly back and forth curves it made across the street because it needed to do so for balance from going so slowly! We'd all shout "Mom , mom the parade is coming! and all the adults would come out from indoors and settle themselves on the porch to watch. My favorite part was when the troops of the different parts of the military would pass by. The adults would stand up and place their hand across their hearts in honor. I especially like the soldiers dressed in antique uniforms.... because dad would pipe in "I saw a civil war soldier walk this parade" he was 12 when that occurred. I didn't know the significance of that then. But in a child's ear it stayed until I could know the significance.

It is the traditions that we all hold in our hearts that keep the bonds from generation to generation, from war to war, from value to value. It is so important and we must hold on to the traditions and pass them down for all of us to remember. Today I will stand on the sidewalk at 984 Washington Street with my grandchildren in front of what used to be my grandmothers house. The maple trees are gone now for safety, and granite curbing is a cold reminder of how hearts change, but my heart still swells with pride when I see the police motorcycle round the corner ushering the parade towards me!
Happy Memorial Day everyone.... and God Bless America, and God Bless our Troops!
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3 comments:

Patti J said...

Well written, nice post! As momma of a twice deployed son, I appreciate your tribute.

Aunt Phyllis said...

Hi there:

I read your blog on Memorial Day, the parade and relatives, etc. How well I remember that too. We don't do parades down here except for Christmas and veterans day and I miss the one on Memorial Day because that actually ushered in summer, you got to wear white shoes and sleeveless dresses.

Shelia said...

Beautiful picture, beautiful post. Most people just think of it as a day off from work. This is wonderful, the description of the different military units.