Memorial Day in a Small Town

Memorial Day is one of the days each year that I actively miss New England. Most days, if you ask, I’ll agree that I miss living there, that even after 10 years in Virginia it’s still only home, not Home the way Massachusetts will always be. But there are a few days that it’s impossible to forget, and Memorial Day has always been one of them.

Today, all the Scout troops, veterans groups and school bands in towns all across Massachusetts are lining up for the annual Memorial Day parade. I marched in my first in first grade, with my Brownie troop. My last was 2002, the same year I moved to Virginia, when I was helping with the high school marching band. Every year was the same.

1995 Memorial Day paradeWe would line up in the parking lots of the original Town Hall, then the senior center, now the town museum; and the original high school, then the municipal building, now home to the town planning and engineering departments. The parade would head down the street to the railroad bridge, then turn to go through downtown on Main Street, past the post office. The college was the first stop: Words to remember the fallen, laying of wreaths, a 21-gun salute and Taps by the high school band. Silence throughout, remembering those who gave their lives.

The parade would pass Continue reading