I can’t recall the last time that I went to the Memorial Day Parade in the small town near where I grew up. Back then, we went every year. When we were old enough, first my brother and then I were in the marching band, so we were obligated to go because of that. After I graduated from high school I don’t remember going to the parade again.
A few weeks ago, I decided to take Philip to this year’s parade. Even though he is too young to understand the meaning of Memorial Day, he can start the tradition now.
By attending the event, he will learn that Memorial Day is more than an unofficial start of summer. The day’s purpose is not to create a three-day weekend or provide an excuse for a cookout. Those things may happen, and, to be honest, have probably been more important to me over the years than the real meaning of the holiday. With Philip, I can start anew. I hope that one day he understands the importance of remembering those who have sacrificed to serve, protect and defend our nation.