May 30, 2010

Small Town America Loves a Parade and Honoring Those that Serve

I grew up in a town of about 2000 people which can truly be described as "small town America". I raised my two children in this same small town and hubby grew up there too. It is a bucolic town at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains called Norfolk, Connecticut.

Tomorrow, bright and early at 9:00 I will  on standing on The Village Green watching the annual Memorial Day Parade. This parade I have marched in many times, from being a Brownie and Girl Scout as a young girl, to being the Girl Scout leader. I marched in our high school band in this parade for 6 years and then watched my children march in this parade. I have only missed one parade in my 50 years and that was to watch my son march as a police officer in a town nearby a couple of years ago.
The parade never changes, only the faces of the small children change. The band starts the parade, followed by the Veterans and then the firetruck and volunteer firemen. We all clap wildly as these folks march by. Soon a lone trumpeter plays taps followed by an echo of taps in the distance by another trumpet. It is always, always a reverent moment. Then a few of the veterans sound off gunshots and mothers cup their babies ears, and tears well up in the eyes of many.

When my son was in Afghanistan, I went to this parade with his picture on my lapel with a small yellow ribbon attached and cried through this entire ceremony. I sang the National Anthem with honor and pride and almost could not contain myself as I tried to choke the words, Land of the Free, Home of the brave out, as this was how my son sign every letter home.
After the National Anthem, the parade marches down to our Memorial Green and the whole town joins in  and follows the marchers down the middle of the street. At the Memorial Green the names of all veterans of the town who have passed are called out one by one. There are names I have heard for 50 years, and as World War II veterans slowly pass on, more names are added each year.
As a member of this town for years and years, I know all the names. Hubby's grandfather who fought proudly in the South Pacific during WWII, had his named added 24 years ago. The church bells sound, the pastor invokes prayer, we all bow our heads to honor those that have served and then the lone taps are played and echoed again.

It is a time to meet old friends and catch up quickly, to see new babies and also notice certain townsfolk that have been there year after year are no longer standing in their usual spot. After the parade is over we all march to the firehouse for coffee and donuts although for the past few years I  bypass this and gone to the Town Hall where the parade ends to hug proudly a certain veteran I hold dear to my heart.

At 12:00 a 5 mile road race starts and ends on the Village Green. We lived on the Green for many, many years and just had to walk out our front door to be part of all the festivities of Memorial Day in small town America. Hubby, my two children and I, have all run in this race over the course of the years.

During the afternoon there is always a picnic at someones house. For years and years and years, it was at my parents house (I lived next door) on the Village Green. The past few years it has been at my sister and brother-in-law's house. Okay, do I tell you now? Sister is married to Hubby's brother. I told you I was from a small town....

This year I will be hosting it out on "the farm".

Until tomorrow...


  1. Your post just made me cry, in a good way! My brother is currently on his second tour in Iraq, I couldn't be more proud of him or those that serve with him! Please give your son a hug from me and tell him THANK YOU! And Thank you too for raising someone who fought for our freedom.

    Happy Memorial Day!

    ~Kelli @ Smidgens

  2. what a perfect day! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Our small town will be holding our parade on the 4th of July, and I can't wait!

  3. Kelli, I honor your brother as well. I know the sacrifice all too well of the families of those that serve. Blessings to all.


I appreciate each and every one of your comments. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me.


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