Memories of Memorial Day are joy filled for me. I remember my sister, Jane, organizing the neighborhood “Memorial Day Parade.” There was just one catch and that was that we needed a nice big wagon to have a float. By big I mean at least three feet long because our parade would consist of the children who lived within the five houses we counted as our neighborhood in Allen Park, MI. Jane & I lived on the corner, next door Leslie was one of the youngest and she rode on the wagon dressed in a sheet holding something resembling a torch and book. She was, of course, the Statue of Liberty. The rest of us marched on the sidewalk either pulling the wagon or carrying the American flag or a sign of some sort.
Janet was my best friend and she lived in the third house. Her participation was absolutely key to the success of the parade because she owned the “big” wagon. If Janet didn’t like what she was asked to do she might get mad and take her wagon home. That happened once and we all learned our lesson! Don’t make Janet mad. Most of the time that wasn’t a problem. So our little neighborhood of children celebrated what we knew of Memorial Day.
We didn’t decorate any graves with flowers. We didn’t remember any soldiers who had been killed in battle, because we didn’t know any. What we did do was feel an immense pride in being American and we had a lot of fun doing that.
I’d love to be able to do that again…