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in memoriam

May 28, 2012

a clown car was my alarm clock.  and my lunch was an ice cream sandwich and a can of root beer.  memorial day was one of my favorite of all favorite days growing up in elm grove.  but it wasn’t so much about the significance of the holiday- i never once thought about freedom or war- it was about me, me and me.  and maybe the girl on the tuba that kept bungling the notes in “you’re a grand old flag” on our two mile trail through town.

when we were young, we’d decorate our bikes and lead the parade, escorted by the village volunteer firefighters.  later, we waved flags and marched with the girl scouts.  when sarah and i were in grade school we earned the honor of marching in the parade with the tonawanda elementary school band.  we didn’t march in middle or high schools, but memorial day was 810 morningside lane’s holiday.

the parade kicked off straight across the street from our home.  we’d watch from the shelter of the maple tree as clowns, dignitaries, local t.v. anchors and neighborhood kids assembled to form the parade.  crowds snaked along the parade route- 2 miles through “downtown” elm grove, landing at the american legion post, next to village park.  they hosted a raucous party with ice cream sandwiches and root beer that fueled my memorial day sugar rush.

it was a day when we were heroes.  it was a day when we were free.  it was a day when we were proud.  and all because we twirled a flag as we marched two miles, our girl scout badges pinned to our chest, our ked’s crisp and white for the start of a new summer.  i never once thought about freedom.  war never crossed my little kid mind.

but in that little town with the clown cars and the ice cream sandwiches i learned the lesson of memorial day: always remember.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Notorious permalink
    May 28, 2012 8:34 pm

    Always remember indeed. Great words. Nice photo. —Notorious (root beer…mmmmmmmmmm)

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