Our day starts with Sarah and I getting up at the butt-crack of dawn and going to church to set up for the breakfast that the church hosts. We work like dogs for a few hours and then get to enjoy the parade.
The parade is exactly what you would expect from a very small, rural town. Lots of tractors, hod rods, fire engines and the BV Alumni Marching Band. It is very quaint. The girls look forward to the parade every year because we end up with a crazy amount of tootsie rolls, double bubble and smarties. It is enough to last us until I can throw it all away at Halloween.
After the parade, everyone congregates in the Radnor cemetary for their Memorial Day service. I am always amazed at how they can find keynote speakers year after year. They generally choose people who grew up in the area and are now career military. I think (in turn) that the speakers are always amazed at how much effort this tiny community puts into celebrating Memorial Day.
As part of the service, they call forward all people who are currently in the military or have served in the military. This is where I usually get a bit choked up. I think part of it is watching my father-in-law go to the front to be honored. You see, shortly after Sarah's birth (one week to be specific), he had a decent-sized stroke so walking is a bit of an effort for him now. For this one moment each year, he refuses help so that he can stand proud with his peers. Each year it is more of a struggle, but he still manages to get up there.
I also spent the service this year contemplating my friend and her family while her husband is deployed. She never ceases to amaze me at what she can accomplish while home alone with several young children. I believe the families serving at home during a deployment are just as brave as our soldiers overseas.
For all who have served or are serving now, a big thank you for your sacrifice and bravery.
Since I couldn't possibly end this without some pictures, here is a nice one of Sarah and her grandpa:
Just the three girls in their outfits from Aunt Lori. You couldn't possibly have a Memorial Day celebration without the proper attire!
And here are some that I thought were kind of cute: