I believe in the old time parades. Growing up in Byron, Michigan, a rural town nestled in the country we had modest but wonderful parades. Our town was small, but patriotic. Twice a year it would happen. My first experience with our parades was when I was in Elementary school. We would be able to go to the parade and stand out by the small streets and wait.
We would wait until we heard the band. First it would come softly and you would only hear the drums. Louder and louder they sounded until you could hear them all. We were all excited and waited with anticipation to see the floats and reach for the candy scattered on the ground from the high school floats.
As I grew older I would pay more attention to the groups in the parade and not just looking for the treats available. All of the community groups would be represented. One thing that always sent a chill down my spine was standing on the street when the Veterans would march by carrying the American Flag. All of the town would stand and put our hands on our hearts. The pride I felt in my heart I could feel beaming from others at the same time. We were proud of our service men, our country, and loved our flag.
Getting older I was not only in the parade, I had the honor of being a Drum Major. By this time in my life I understood more about our Veterans and the service they have done for our country.
To this day I respect the fact that I am free for a reason. I believe that this feeling is lost today. When I see a member of our armed services I thank them for their service and wish them well. Their reaction is pure astonishment. You can tell they just don’t hear that from people in the community. Too many issues get in the way of our appreciation these days.
I believe in having pride in a town and a nation. We need to sit with anticipation to see a parade that celebrates our nation. I now live far from that town and when I get homesick I yearn for not only the feeling of home but also for the hometown feeling of pride and faith in our country.
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