We had a marvelous Memorial Day 2009 here in Norwich, Connecticut, and I hope you did as well wherever you spent your day. I must confess, the day's weather got off to a not-so-good start but took a turn for the better at about mid-morning, making the ceremony at Taftville's Memorial Park a great opportunity to explore what was, for me, an undiscovered small gem of a park in one of the oldest and most tradition-bound villages of Norwich. Thanks, Chief Pudge, and all those from the VFW Frederick J. Sullivan Post 2212 as well as the American Legion Peter Gallan Post 104, for a memorable morning.
In the latter part of the afternoon, we proved we can still surprise one another as, in response to the Norwich Veterans Council invitation to observe Memorial Day at Chelsea Parade, hundreds and more hundreds of friends, family and neighbors of veterans and active duty service members turned out to nearly completely cover the carefully manicured grass of the Parade.
We even had a short parade, actually at times it seemed more like an organized meander from Saint Patrick's Cathedral up Broadway to Chelsea Parade. The Boy Scouts, always prepared, stepped up to offer a Color Guard even if some of the bearers were a tad smaller than their flags and the Kelly Middle School Orchestra proved itself as an impromptu marching band in the warm nearly-summer sun.
Our guest speakers helped us remember that freedom isn't free and how and why across the generations so many of our best and brightest have perished so that we, the living, could prosper. And at the ceremony's end, was a quiet man with an acoustic guitar and a loud question that sent us home to ponder, "where's the glory in star-spangled sky?"