During the Gridley Memorial Day service this morning, a Purple Heart vet from EP/G recalled a story about a Mexican immigrant who fought alongside him in Vietnam. The immigrant said that he volunteered to fight for the U.S. because he grew up hearing that America was the greatest country in the world, where you could do what you want and be what you want. Where you could be free. And that was worth fighting for.
On a less dramatic or somber note, other things are worth fighting for. Such as the Gridley Memorial Day Parade. For those who aren't familiar, 3 years ago the Gridley Memorial Day Parade was.....well..... I'm still not sure if you could really call it a parade. A handful of veterans walked down the street, while a brass ensemble may or may not have stood on a street corner and played something. Apparently, at one time, children used to ride their bikes down the street in a festive show, but it had fizzled down to....well, whatever it was.
This distressed Callie and I, so we decided that someday we should follow behind the veterans in a decked-out golf cart stocked with candy. Memorial Day 2009 became "someday", and with Leah and Nicole we decorated a gator and followed the veterans down the street. We did the same thing in 2010. But 3 years in a row of 20-somethings throwing candy....well, it's just not that exciting...and a little awkward, to be honest. So this year was now or never. We brought back the children! :) After an hour of recruiting during church lunch on Sunday, 12-ish children showed up with bikes to the parade this morning! It was fantastic. Here are some pics:
Ezra trying to keep up on the trike :)So....The Gridley Memorial Day Parade is saved at last! :) :) Next year we need to bring back a brass quartet and give a prize for the best-decorated bike, of course, but this year was a HUGE step in the right direction.
The poor veterans walking down the street....they just don't know anymore what to expect when they show up to their parade. Haha. But seriously, it is easy to take Memorial Day for granted as just another long weekend, but it is an important day to remember the brave men and women who haven given their lives for our freedom. Maybe this will give the younger generation more of an appreciation for that? Maybe. :) But their parents enjoyed it.
In other news, Tina moved in to the Dojo yesterday! It will be good, but for now it is a transition, like any other. She thinks she is living here to learn English.....and she is. But she will hopefully learn many more important things along the way.... and we will learn a ton from her also.
And I start the nursing home internship tomorrow. So, yep. I imagine I'll have some stories about that soon. :)