Here we are with yet another sunny day. It will be hot this afternoon, so we will be in the house. Our morning started by both of us talking about our Memorial Day memories before we even were out of bed. Joe remembers marching with the VFW, when he was just a boy of about 12. They needed another trombone player and had a uniform from a past member that fit Joe to a T. He says he was so proud being asked to take the man's place. This was in Elgin, Illinois, sixty four years ago. He learned to march, make the turns, and keep playing his instrument. I didn't know him then, but I can bet that he was one of the proudest people in the parade. He turned to me and said, "Have I got a treat for you." He went to the CD player and put on his CD of marches. John Phillip Sousa and others playing all the military marches. We listened to the whole thing ending with the Star Spangled Banner. While it played, it took me back to my childhood on Memorial Day.
In another part of town a little girl was getting ready to march in her first parade. I was a Brownie then a Girl Scout and I marched in the same parade as Joe. We didn't know each other from the man in the moon at that time. I can remember getting up so early and finding my uniform on the chair...freshly pressed. I ate my breakfast quickly and put the uniform on. We had to be in town, Elgin Illinois, by 9 am.Having no car...we had to take the bus. Our scout leader was there and got us all lined up. I remember the waiting part...it seemed like it lasted forever. Then the whistle blew and we started to march. Our march was a little more of a walk...more casual that Joe's group. One year I was chosen to help hold a banner with our troop number on it. I was so proud...looking through the crowd to find my parents. Dad worked nights and had the day off...so he was able to come and see the parade. This was always something that I loved...my Dad in the audience cheering me on.
There were flags everywhere in those days. It was after the war and the men were home again. It was such a celebration. The parade ended at the cemetery in those days....I remember being let go so we wouldn't have to walk that far. We did go out to the cemetery, however, and watch the program and put flowers on family members graves....always big bouquets of peonies and iris. The rest of the day was usually a family picnic and listening to the Indianapolis 500. Fried chicken, my Aunt Ruthie's German potato salad, fruit salad, relishes, watermelon, and pies made by my Mom. We really were patriotic in those days...so thankful that the war was over and our country was thriving.
Today at 3 pm, there will be a time for reflection....a moment of silence to remember those who served our country. We are asked to stop what we are doing...for just a moment to reflect. Our way of putting the memorial back in Memorial Day.