Memorial Day has a lot of tradition for me. It’s always about the local parade. Can’t beat those Firemen in their dress blues!!
The first time I went to the parade I had just left my husband. My girls were 3 and 8 months old. I felt beaten and bruised but my brother and sister-in-law insisted that I come with them and watch the parade. It took my mind off my troubles and inspired me to be strong and move on with my life. It became a tradition to go each year. My girls used to march in the parade when they were younger. I remember many a cool, gray Memorial morning walking down to the staging area early; my kids freezing in their Twirler costumes. Or the hot days when it was hard to walk the parade route without feeling like you might pass out.
There was always a barbecue after and maybe a dip in the pool.
My girls have grown up and moved away. Twenty five years is a long time and wow- how our lives have changed. Changed in amazing ways that I could not have imagined. There have been ups and downs but I am grateful for each and every one of those. It has made me stronger.
And now we have new traditions.
I walk Mickey down to the parade and we watch together, cheering on the town.
And George and I watch the Air Show.
It wasn’t the best weather to be down at the beach but yesterday we took a drive to Jones Beach to watch the Bethpage Air Show. I love these Air Shows. We have gone to many of them. My favorite are when the Blue Angels make their soaring passes in the sky, flying in fantastic formation. Roaring and thundering overhead, they awe with their power and regimen. This year there were different planes. But a fantastic show nonetheless.
Saturday was a washout. Sunday was windy and cool. But in a testament to the people of Long Island and their resiliency in the face of Hurricane Sandy, thousands turned out to watch. Some watched from Jones Beach , some from other smaller beaches and shoreline. We return to the water and try to erase the memories of that October night when the water became the enemy. It looked so benign yesterday.
After the show we took a drive to the Nautical Canal, a long strip of street that has bars and restaurants catering to the seasonal summer crowd. This area took a big hit last year and suffered devastating storm damage. But now we saw that while some places closed their doors forever, others have been busy rebuilding.
This simple duct taped message means so much. It is how we all should live our lives. We take a hit but get back up and stand stronger then ever before. It’s what we do in our personal lives and it’s what we as a country have done.This Memorial Day we remember and thank those serving in our Armed Forces here and overseas and we remember those who gave their lives or suffered injuries so we could be free. We are back and we will be stronger than ever.