Yesterday, we went to a Memorial Day Parade followed by a Memorial Service at the Cemetery.
Who knew an empty float could speak so loudly? Simply 4 empty folding chairs. A float representing men who would never again sit in their spot at table, lie in bed with their wives, or wear their baseball glove while playing catch. A solemn reminder of those who did not come home; those who gave all.
Another had a prisoner of war (POW) sitting in a bamboo cage: his hair long and unkempt, his clothes ragged, his shirt missing, his body dirty and scarred. A POW who endured the unimaginable, surviving on hope.
During the parade and at the beginning of the ceremony a plane flew overhead, and we all stood looking up- a sight that would have sent soldiers running for cover. Then came a round of cannon fire that filled the valley with smoke, giving the graveyard a surreal feeling. The sound of the canons firing, too, would have sent a soldier into his trench as he waited for the inevitable explosion that followed. What must it have been like on a battlefield amid the explosions?
Like my husband told the kids this morning on the way to the parade: freedom isn’t free. It costs more than any of us can ever imagine and more than some would be willing to give. Freedom is a precious heritage.