Growing up in Glen Ridge, NJ, many of our Memorial Day holidays were spent marching in the annual parade. First as a Girl Scout, and then later on as a member of the flag line in the high school marching band, we'd assemble at Hurrell Field and march a couple of miles through the center of town to the Glen Ridge Middle School, where a ceremony took place to honor those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom.
The whole town would come out to line the streets, wave flags and watch as the Scouts (Cubs and Brownies, all the way up to Eagles and Seniors), the Police and Fire Departments (I remember our friend, Mr. Thorpe, drove the vingtage ambulance representing the Volunteer Fire Squad), marching band and squads of veterans marched along Ridgewood Avenue. My sister was once one of the wreath-bearers in the ceremony, maybe even the year the above photo was taken (isn't she so cute, standing at attention and wearing her digital watch above her white gloves!). My dad, along with many other residents of our town, would display the American Flag from the front porch.
I am thankful to have been taught to remember those who bravely served our country. I have uncles who fought in both World Wars (some I never met) and Daniel's grandfather, Dan Ryan, served our country in Vietnam. My cousin, Mary, recently returned from Iraq and currently serves in the Air Force at the Pentagon. Today, I will be remembering the families of those who are currently serving and of those soldiers who lost their lives serving our country. Thank you, Lord, for giving us true freedom through Christ and for allowing our country to be protected and blessed through the service and sacrifice of many.