I had the opportunity to speak at a local Memorial Day Celebration yesterday. It was wonderful.
It was America at its purist. It was a small town celebration complete with the local high school marching band, village and regional fire trucks, kids ball team members marching, all coordinated by an active American Legion post.
Patriotism and appreciation of American values as personified in liberty, freedom, the flag and ceremony were prominent, not only in the event itself, but in the personal enthusiasm of the participants and watchers.
There were old people, young people and all other ages in between.
Former members of the military and now the Legion post were in full uniform. Two world war two combat veterans were there.
One was honored as the parade grand marshal and the other played patriotic songs on his harmonica during a short ceremony.
A color guard stood at attention in the heat and humidity and local kids sat on the grass near the color guard ready to pick up the shell casings from the gun-salute to the combat dead.
I remember doing that when I was a kid, only in those days we were still calling it Decoration Day. We would festoon our bicycles with multi colored crape paper between the spokes and ride circles around the parade columns in my small town.
There is one thing that has never changed since I first heard it as a child, never fails to silence, never fails to tug at the heart.
It is Taps.