Today, Dom, Russell and I went to Rockville’s Hometown Holidays to watch the Memorial Day parade. It was hot and crowded, but we barely noticed – we were too busy watching Dom watch the parade.
There were police, horses, color guards and various rescue vehicles (including a fire truck that Dom nearly ran underneath to see). Several Boy and Girl Scout troops walked the parade route, too. Interspersed among these groups were several cultural groups from Bolivia, dressed in brightly colored outfits and dancing traditional dances that enthralled the crowd. Politicians smiled, shook hands, and threw candy into the crowd.
It was a beautiful parade. My son loved it. He danced and screamed and waved to the parade participants. We’ll go again next year.
But I was left slightly annoyed with my fellow attendees. There were several groups of veterans in the parade, and they barely received any notice from the crowd. Each time they passed, Dom waved his American flag while we clapped. But nobody else bothered. The kids were more interested in the free candy, and their parents were too busy chatting with each other. I might offend someone here…but Memorial Day should be about those veterans. And it’s a sad day in America when a Boy Scout troop gets a standing ovation while a group of military heroes is ignored.
To add to my annoyance (did you think I was done?), there was a man selling a cart full of cheap toys. He blocked all views of the parade as he marched up and down the parade route, enticing kids to spend Mommy and Daddy’s money on crap that wouldn’t last a week. On the way home, we were stuck on a road behind somebody who had just taken advantage of a mattress company’s Memorial Day sale.
It all left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Apparently, our heroes died for people’s right to buy stuff instead of honoring them today. That’s sad, but I guess that’s what freedom is.
Thank you to all who have served our country and protected this freedom.