The towns in this area don't always have their Fourth of July celebrations on the Fourth of July. Go figure. Today, June 28th was July 4th for a local town here in Central Massachusetts.
With some new acquaintances of mine, I watched a local parade and then attended a good, old fashioned cookout. I felt like I had been transported back to the 50s for a short time. What fun! The parade was, literally, on Main Street. Could have been any Main Street in America...flags flying, old Victorian style houses lining the streets. People sitting out on porches, in folding chairs, watching, cheering, and clapping. And the parade was as Norman Rockwell as you could get. We had the marching bands, the bagpipers, the Town Selectman. There was a nice assortment of cranky-looking clowns and we had the horse riders from the local riding academy. A whole host of fire trucks from the neighboring towns (including my own), cruising down the street with sirens and horns blazing.
And of course, we had the veterans. From WWII and forward. Oddly enough, not many of them were in the parade -- maybe veterans don't care to march in parades any more...or maybe they're all deployed in the Middle East now-- but all were cheered and applauded.
America, home of the free and land of the brave. In small towns across the nation, this week will be full of the simple appreciation of this glorious and troubled nation.
As we watched the parade float by, I could hear local folks talking about budget cuts and how this parade would be the last. Are we losing the last remnants of old fashioned Americana...does it matter?