My husband and I do not do much on Memorial Day. For us it is a quiet day. No Bar-B-Ques, no neighborhood parties, no beer bashes. I may go to Mass in the mornings or just remain quietly in prayer at home.
I was lucky enough to be a member of a marching band in junior high school. On Memorial Day I would dress in my blue and white band uniform and go with my Father to the local American Legion Post ceremony early in the morning.
In front of the building was a memorial honoring the men who had died in war. The U.S. flag flew at half-mast. A bugler and several rifle men stood at attention. Parents, siblings, uncles and aunts stood behind memorial wreaths that line the path from the sidewalk to the memorial circle. My father and I stood behind with the name of his nephew, Salvatore Basile, on the ribbon. Sal’s father stood behind another.
The pastors of both Catholic and Protestant Churches said prayers. The commander of the Post read off the names of the fallen and someone placed a wreath around the small monument , in the center. The bugler played TAPS and the rifle men shot their guns in salute.
My father and I walked the few blocks to home silently. I would march in the parade for the first time and he would drive Hose Company #3 Fire truck that afternoon. I was very proud of my father that day and how he introduced me to the remembering a cousin I had never met. He was killed in World War II on one of the beaches in France. He never came home to be my Godfather as planned.
After the parade we could have hot dogs at the fire house. the VFW or the American Legion.
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