Yesterday, my 7 year old asked if she could go to the parade this morning since she'd never seen one. How is that even possible?
We drove downtown and grabbed a spot to sit on the curb and waited for it all to begin. The children ran and chased each other under the big oak trees in front of the elementary school, the crowd laughed when the sprinklers turned on and doused a huge part of the crowd, and everyone kept glancing up the street waiting for it all to begin.
The firetruck led the way with it's flashing lights and chirping siren. The driver stopped long enough for one of the police officers on the route to take his picture. No one minded the delay.
Then came the veterans proudly carrying our flags. Everyone who was able bodied on the parade route stood in silent respect and the men doffed their ball caps. "Stand in honor of the colors, boys," I heard my husband whisper to our sons. They stood beside him proudly and attention.
The local Council members and politicians rode by in gaily colored cars and golf carts, waving and shouting, "Happy 4th!" and "God bless America!"
It was a typical folksy small town parade, full of symbolism and community. Folks dressed as our founders and rang the Liberty Bell.
They tossed candy to the children, and handed out stickers and fliers.
Near the end of the parade came the Star Wars Costume Society. What parade could be complete without without an intergalactic bounty hunter or two?
The tail end was another firetruck, and then the whole of the group that had been watching the parade. As the truck passed them, they gathered their belongings and joined in the march, waving hands and flags and greeting friends, neighbors and strangers.
We were all the parade, spectators and entrants alike. We were all America, and celebrated it together.
Happy Independence Day, Y'all!