From the time, I can remember it was the New Haven Memorial Day parade I looked forward to. It starts at the New Haven Elementary School and concludes at the New Haven Cemetery. Everyone came out for the parade. The schools all sent their bands, families decorated bicycles and wagons for their children, organizations and scout troops decorated floats, and picnics and family gatherings were scheduled around the parade and the memorial service at the cemetery. This year I realize change is inevitable.
Instead of joining my mother-in-law in Oswego at the Riverside Cemetery for their annual Memorial Day service, we dressed in our band attire and headed in the opposite direction to Mexico. Mary marched in her first parade today with the Middle School Marching Band. Once the rain, thunder, and lightning finished their show, it was time to start the parade. I forgot my camera in the car and did not want to race back and miss Mary marching so we called Auntie M and Kenny to save the day. Phew, they were only a little ways down the road.
We joined the Mexico community for a service at their cemetery at the conclusion of the parade. The band played our National Anthem spectacularly with guest speakers and prayer. It was the heart and openness of our school superintendent that brought tears to my eyes. Each Memorial Day we remember the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.
It is easy for me to visualize my Great Uncle Bob and Bill sitting around Gram’s kitchen table reliving the battles or my Dad and his buddies from Vietnam, yet as Mr. Pritchard shared his experience…the price our soldiers pay is taken for granted by many. One man stepped up and took Mr. Pritchard’s place for a tour so he could have time to get reacquainted with his two and four year old children. This soldier never made it home. With less than two weeks to his tour, he lost his life when a car bomb exploded. Mr. Pritchard and his family truly understand the sacrifice and are thankful for each day they have together.
At 3:00 p.m. is a national time of silence for our fallen soldiers. I pray you will take a moment to remember all the men and women who have given their lives to keep us safe and for our freedom. Remember the men and women still serving. Remember the families left behind. Be thankful for all you have…it is comes with a cost.
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323