I am so glad the parade was yesterday. While it was chilly and somewhat windy, which caused it to feel even colder at times, at least the sun was out for the majority of the parade. It only rained three times during the entire 2½ hours we were out there. And that, for Seattle, is almost a record.
Today it is nasty and cold and gloomy. It surely does not feel like May! It’s 51º and raining. I guess I’m not mowing the lawn today.
I read in the paper today (I was several days behind) that the parade I attended yesterday was the nation’s largest and longest-running Armed Forces Day parade. That surprised me since the hosting town is not a big city, nor do we have that large of a military presence.
There is an 84-year-old man who used to live locally, but now resides in Springfield, Missouri, who drove 2,000 miles to march in our parade. He retired in 1973 from the Air Force after serving during WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam, but hasn’t missed our parade in 27 years.
Both men are in the 80s now, but they still wear their uniforms and march with pride in our parade!
Grace loved waving her flags around. I can’t remember which group was handing them out, but a lot of the kids around us got them. There was a boy, probably about 11 or 12 years old, standing next to us, who also got a flag to wave. Eventually his legs got tired, so he sat on the street to rest. He then began to use his flags as drumsticks, tapping them on the ground to the beat of the marching band.
When I was a kid, our neighborhood would be festooned with flags for Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day. I’m pretty sure the local Boy Scout troop would place them in every front yard early in the morning. One year my friend and I pulled up our respective flags and decided to use them as swords in a mock swordfight. The next thing I know, my dad has come boiling out of our house, yanked me up by the scruff of my neck, and shouted that flags are to be respected and not used as toys.
So I was quite taken aback when I saw that young man use his flags as drumsticks on the street. But it wasn’t my place to say anything, so I just focused on the parade and enjoyed myself.
I know it’s hard to see (click on the photo for a larger image), but these are the Pearl Harbor survivors that marched in the parade. There were more in vehicles following these three. As they passed, almost every person, especially those who had served or had come from military families, rose from their seats and gave these men a standing ovation.
Partway through the parade, the marchers stopped, and the spectators began to point up at the sky, the opposite direction from the motion of the parade. I had no idea what they were pointing at, until the big cargo plane was almost right over my head!
Now THAT was cool!!! (More photos from the parade can be found HERE.)
Once I got home from the parade, I had just enough time to accomplish some housework before my friend’s son came over while his parents went out on the town. Had he not been here, I think I would have been in bed at 10pm. I was exhausted. I hadn’t slept well the night before for worrying about oversleeping my alarm.
I had the weirdest dream last night! I only remember a tiny bit of it. I think I was dreaming about being at the parade again, and Grace was given some candy. But for some reason she wasn’t near me at the time. I was talking to my friend’s son, who had the same candy, and as he bit into it, I noticed what kind of candy it was. It was peanut-butter filled! I raced over to Grace and yanked it out of her mouth right as her teeth sank into the chocolate coating.
Then my dream morphed into another storyline, as dreams do. This time I was out shooting with my camera, with none other than Ken Rockwell at my side. I don’t know if it was some kind of class, or maybe we were friends, or what. But we were out in the woods shooting, and then we came back to a lodge with a dining hall where we compared shots, he on his Nikon D200 and me on my D40.
Maybe I should quit looking at Ken Rockwell’s page every night before bed.