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I Love A Parade

And you should too.  Particularly if it’s Westport’s Memorial Day parade.

In an iPod world, tomorrow morning’s event is a Victrola.

Everything about it screams a simpler era.  There is a pancake breakfast.  School bands play Sousa marches.  Veterans salute.

Extended families crowd sidewalks, searching for a marching child, parent or friend to cheer.  Others gather on Myrtle Avenue lawns, in front of handsome Victorian homes.

Police officers, firefighters, town officials, drum-and-bugle corps — all pass by in a happy jumble.  Kids jam floats, tossing candy to the crowd.  A little child pulls the horn on a huge diesel truck.

For an hour or two tomorrow, you don’t have to look cool.  You don’t have to be cool, or act cool.

You just have to be there.  Wave a flag.  Wave hi to friends and neighbors.  Wave to the EMTs, the state troopers, the men and women from World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and the kids from Iraq and Afghanistan.

When the parade is over, wander to the green in front of Town Hall.  Listen to the invocation, a couple of speeches, some patriotic music.

Look around.  Enjoy the view.  Think about everyone — veterans and others — who sacrificed so much so you could be at that spot, at that moment.

This is Westport.  This is America.  This is Memorial Day.

See you there.

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