Early in the afternoon I saw the Currans come by the house riding their bikes on the way back from the parade downtown. They are neighbors, too. I’m not a big parade kind of guy, though I do remember the parades after WWII, and the veterans marching up Fifth Avenue. I was three, and on my father’s shoulders, the throngs twenty deep along the way as they marched by, flags waving, drums rolling. I remember the sky black with the returning planes, the flights of fighters and bombers roaring home for what seemed like years after that; parades through the sky as it were. I remember visiting the huge gray ships anchored along the Hudson River, the ships which had paraded into the harbor and up the river while the shore was lined with thousands and the ships themselves lined with crewmen.
I remember the fellows I knew who were over there, all of them gone, now; the last ones marching off out of sight, but not memory, several years ago. And as I remember them, I think of the men and the women, too, “over there” today doing the hard and dangerous things so parades could take place, so we can ride home on our bikes after them on a beautiful day. And as I think, I pray.