BY PUBLISHER EMERITUS ARMAND MIELE
Every year, I find the Memorial Day parade more breathtaking. Sober-faced seniors and younger veterans march proudly in honor of the fallen. You can clearly imagine the memories that take them back to fighting alongside the departed companions left behind. The children, whose parents have cared enough to teach them respect for the veterans, both living and departed. All Americans join in to honor these men and women that helped keep us free.
Families line the sidewalks, waving and cheering the marchers into the glory they deserve. Seniors representing their local veterans’ post carry shining rifles and flags, holding back the looks of pain, although the flags and rifles are so heavy. But their pride is so strong that they just will not give in until the commander gives the order, “At ease.”
Finally the flag is raised. Taps are played as a wreath of flowers is placed on a monument honoring the fallen. Honored guests make speeches, bringing the memories of Memorial Day alive. Neither hot sun nor rain will deter these dedicated people. I used to wonder, why should they speak for so long, whether in the hot sun or the rain? It’s the same speech every year: faithful Americans living and dead have sacrificed themselves so that we can go on living in a free society.
But I now know that every year, the speakers must have their say, and the listeners look forward to hearing the inspiring words. There are always listeners who hear for the first time about what others have been done to preserve our freedom. The young must be reminded that they are responsible for honoring that sacrifice, and for preserving American freedom themselves. The older people in the crowd are reminded of their own stories, which they can share with their children and grandchildren, stories about so many
members of the family who were soldiers, sailors, Marines, pilots, etc.
My own father was an Italian veteran of World War I, and sometimes it came up that he was a German prisoner of war. He never told us more than that, but just imagining what he lived through for his country made me proud of him. This is how we keep the pride alive, by keeping the stories of our parents and grandparents alive. So just listen. Give the honorees the respect they deserve.
I’ve heard complaints that there are too many parades in one day. There are those who would like to attend all of them, but it is too difficult. The outcry is to make just one ceremony, so that everyone can gather at once. It’s a practical idea, but it seems that every neighborhood, village, and town wants their loved ones to be specially honored, and why shouldn’t they? Our neighborhood parades bring us closer to our departed ones.
This one day a year belongs to our heroes, the true believers in God, country and family values. Let’s mention and thank the leaders who work so hard to keep the traditional parades of Memorial Day alive. All of our leaders and all true believers in our nation should salute those who march in and attend the ceremonies. Together they carry our torches, and bring back memories of the departed ones whose lives have changed but will never end.
Today, it’s a shame, our soldiers are in countries they do not know, and yet I wonder who is making the big money? It’s the companies supplying the government with the guns, the tanks, the uniforms. That’s all they are interested in, the more wars the more money they make. The wounds of our soldiers and of all those injured in war should fall upon them.
God bless the faithful Americans.