i went to the veterans day parade downtown and i have to say i think pretty much anyone with a car or horse can be in it. at least that was my conclusion after about fifteen minutes on the street corner watching trucks and horses go by. i toyed sincerely with the thought that i should go get my car, some flags, and a bag of candy. i was surprised at how much i really wanted to drive in the parade. but i didn’t, i just stood there. watching things like this:
there were two things i liked best about the waco veterans day parade. the first was this feeling, previously mentioned, that i found in my chest. it became much more pronounced when a group of military men and women would march, or drive, or ride by and applause would break out. you could hear the applause coming from up the street and you could listen to it follow after they passed. the unpretentiousness of this applause stopped the breath a little. it was clear, fresh, honest emotion pouring in waves down a street.
the second thing i liked best about the waco veterans day parade was this little redheaded kid who was determined to conduct every single marching band that passed. he would totally freak out when he could hear the next band coming. the first noise to arrive would be the drums and he’d lean way over and stare down the street and start jumping up and down a little bit, pointing, and then start waving his arms as if the sound coming down the street depended on him. i mean, he was focused like an intense beam of monochromatic light [laser] on these bands! trucks would go by, tossing loads of candy at him (he was what they call, “adorable,”) and he was oblivious, well, almost. his mom kept picking these loads of goodness up off the street and sticking it all in a bag they had brought with them while kid just kept swinging those arms letting those band members know what was up! here he is:
when i was leaving, the thought of getting to grow up in a place like america, thanks to the great gift of service of so many who have believed in the ideas of simple words like, “democracy,” and, “freedom,” and, “liberty,” and, “justice,” well, i felt grateful to have seen such a sight as a little kid oblivious to candy because he could hear the music and i thought about dreams and the pursuit of them and a place to pursue them and the simplicity of happiness that can be found in a few molecules of air blown my direction because of it.
thank you for your service to our country. i join the rest of the nation this veterans day in remembering and expressing gratitude for the sacrifices of america’s 25 million veterans. god bless you.