Memorial Day: It's all Small-town
Watching these parades, I was thunderstruck by the size and number of rescue vehicles these town have. These are two small, rural towns in northwestern Connecticut where things tend not to burn down and people tend not to need rescue. Neverthless, when the day comes and people need help, we can provide it. And the citizenry of these towns clearly want to because they have voluntarily undergone training to rescue others, and the townspeople have provided the funds to make rescue possible.
I think a few schoolbuses ought to join the parade, because they, too, represent the American people's desire to protect their freedom and their safety. It's easy when you're stuck behind a schoolbus that stops at every driveway to wonder what the world is coming to that kids can't walk 10 feet and let you get on with your day and to forget that we care so deeply for the safety and wellbeing of our young people and the future of our nation that we lay on a door-to-door transportation service to ferry them back and forth to their educations--a key to their future and ours. Tell me we're not a rich nation or that we don't value the right things and I'll tell you why it takes me 90 minutes to go 25 miles to get home from work.
I have joked with friends that band kids always have plans for the holidays--but I don't know what the joke is anymore. As a member of her high school band, my daughter learned the hymn of every armed force along with the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." She has heard veterans speak, she has learned about who are MIA and POW. She has stood in silence for the fallen as her friend has played "Taps" on his trumpet. Over the years, she has heard at home the litany of names of family members and friends who have served our nation in uniform.
How does she respond? She learns the music. She marches with the band. She stands in respectful silence. She does her homework. She knows the best defense of her freedom and ours is a sharp mind--a mind that can name the men and women she knows and can never know who served in our armed forces.
She knows she is who they fought for. She knows she is who she is because they fought for her. We the people don't let her forget.