Every year, for as long as I can remember, we have gone to the Memorial Day Services and Parade. Some years we skip the service, but I’ve not missed the parade in 28 years. People from all around who have a personal connection to the community gather to remember and honor our fallen military.
At the service, a speaker talks about freedom and the costs and what it meant to them to serve. It is always given by a Veteran. My husband spoke once. He is a Navy Veteran. Every year the roster of fallen soldiers is read. It begins the same, starting with the Revolutionary War. Men and women’s names from the community are remembered. There is someone or ones on the list that everyone knows. The names are familiar as we hear them every year, but end differently with new names added as time marches on and loved ones have passed. The children in attendance may be bored at the moment, but lessons and costs of liberty are planted.
We watch the parade and are happy to see friends and family go by. Sometimes we march too. They carry the flag, are on floats, in cars, on horses and tractors. They are in the marching band. We fall in behind and solemnly join the march to the cemetery where we gather together, united in freedom. Prayers are said. The wreath is laid. Taps is played. Muskets fire. The band plays the National Anthem.
Silence. Reverence. Remembrance. Thankfulness. Honor.