2017 Life Logs, Day 315: A Patriotic Tribute
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2017
Weather: Sunny and Cold; High 40, Low 26 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
Falmouth is a small town with big traditions. We have the largest Christmas parade in southeastern Massachusetts, a Memorial Day celebration, a 4th of July parade, and we have a Veterans Day parade and patriotic tribute on the 11th day of November at 11 o’clock that begins with ringing of the bell 11 times. Out of all of Falmouth’s holiday traditions, I think I most appreciate this one. The parade starts at the Village Green and travels down Main Street to Memorial Lane on the library lawn. The Military Honor Guard leads the way, followed by the Brian Boru Bag Pipe Band. Then come the Boy Scouts with Sam and Jonah marching with their troops. The Falmouth fireman always have a huge American flag flying high over the expansive library lawn where everyone gathers to hear the high school chorus sing The Star-Spangled Banner, listen to a few remarks by the organizers, and then settle in for a speech by a veteran. This year it was a female Coast Guard veteran and she gave an uplifting speech about how people in the military are of every color and religion and manage to work together as a seamless team. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole world could manage to do this? And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a leader of this wonderful country who fostered this kind of teamwork? Of course, that was not mentioned in the speech. Those are my questions. This was the coldest Veterans Day ceremony I have attended, but the sun was shining brightly, and the program was not too long, so the cold was manageable. Each year at the end of the tribute, the Brian Boru Pipe Band leads all of the veterans in the crowd in a walk down Memorial Lane while they are applauded by those in attendance. And then the Falmouth Chorale sings the patriotic songs of each of the branches of the military. After the program has ended, the fireman invite young children to help them roll up the huge American flag. I missed seeing Ollie do this last year as I was taking a group photo of all the Scouts on the front steps of the library. But this year, I stayed with Heather and Ollie and got pictures of him rolling up the flag. Ollie is the little one in a red jacket. Perfect ending to a perfect patriotic tribute to our veterans.