Each year I go to my hometown's Memorial Day parade and services.
This year was no different, other than the fact I was missing my Memorial Day partners (my sister Di and my brother in law Al, who were up north for a surprise party this year). G met me there and we did the usual routine beginning with watching the parade step off.
Then we waited to see Uncle George.
Here he comes.
Ah, there he is! (Korean War, and two tours in Vietnam. Semper Fi!)
The Marine ROTC was sizable this year.
Then we get a little pep in our step and marched along with the band.
All while continuing to take photos of the brigade of boy scouts, cubbies, girl scouts, brownies and daisies.
And the mounted police.
Then we cut through a side road to meet the parade on the back end once they've made their way through town. They stop at the Legion Post to lay a wreath at the War On Terror Monument which lists the names of the service people from NH who have died in the War On Terror.
Freedom has the highest price of all.
Then it's on to the cemetery, where my parents stand at the gates, among the crowd that amasses there. (That's Dad amongst the flags- who served during the Korean War).
Waiting to salute and applaud our servicemen and servicewomen.
Then it's into the cemetery we go for Memorial Day services, which of course starts with the Anthem.
And of course recognition for our soldiers. That's U. Norm in the plaid. One of only a handful of WWII vets left who were present. Once a Marine, always a Marine.
We always have a featured speaker, this year Rear Admiral Thomas Richards, Navy Seal (ret), who's impressive 30 year career resume was longer than his speech!
The junior high girl's chorus, including sister Di's neighbor girls Jamie and Samantha (who is in high school and got called to 'stand in'), sing God Bless America and the crowd joins in.
Then gun salute, led by Uncle George and carried out by fellow members of Legion Post 35 (including our amusing pal Warren to U. George's left).
Heads are bowed, and I shed tears Taps is played, considering the huge sacrifice some have given for their country and freedom.
After the services conclude we get to say hello to some of our favorite Veterans.
As Mom and Dad say hi to their pal, Uncle Norm, G greets Uncle George coming up the rear.
It was not dissimilar to other years. A chance to pay homage to those who weren't so lucky and didn't come home.
The rest of our weekend was spent getting groceries at Trader Joe's followed by lots of yard work. It's looking better out there in the back 40, but there is a long way to go. So much to do, so little time. We fit in some war movies as well, some skyping with friends and family, I baked an eggplant Parmesan and yesterday we smoked a chicken. All in all, a full weekend.
I hope you enjoyed yours.
And when someone asks you how you're doing today, tell them 'excellent'! That's Uncle Norm's advice to his fellow residents at RiverWoods. I think it's worth repeating. Excellent!
Ciao for now,