Monday, May 25, 2009

Marching


Saintseester commemorated Memorial Day by posting some videos. She likes choirs and found a good one singing our national anthem. I thought that was a grand idea. I'm more of a brass ensemble or marching band kind of a person for my Star Spangled Banner needs and figured I could spring off her brilliant idea at my own angle. I love a really good rendition of the song, especially by, say, a world class drum and bugle corps. Wouldn't you know, I couldn't find one that did it for me. Mostly it's about the arrangement, I think, and I couldn't find one that was simple enough without it being pounded out in a steady drone like a death march.

As a teenager my Memorial Days were spent in parades. Usually the one parade which wound through every cemetary in my home town. When you start a town in the early 1600s you've got plenty of time to build up burial grounds. It was a long day, usually hot as blazes to boot. Along the way we played the Star Spangled Banner and listened to my friends play the dual trumpet echo version of taps over and over. At least one person would pass out, and if even one person didn't complain it was a miracle. We were teenagers, it's not an excuse but it does explain.

Even as a teenager, though, I was just barely wise enough to see what happened at each stop. Mostly we saw WWII veterans, both women and men, placing wreaths and speaking and reading the graves of their fellows. There was a sense of duty that filtered down to everyone involved, even we teens, so self-involved. In the faces of those we honored, though, memory was plain to see. For someone like me who places such a premium on the power of memory and memories seeing that, of course, stuck with me.

Best wishes for you and your memories today. Thank you to everyone who not only does but also remembers.

1 comment:

  1. Taps was played by a middle schooler in University Town this year. He did a grand job.

    I'm lucky enough to not have had my life directly impacted by a death in war. I'm also smart enough to know that the very fact of my life owes a great deal to those who chose to serve. I am mindful of that on more than just Memorial Day.

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