As a kid I marched in Memorial Day parades down Kearny Avenue, with the Brownies. The parade was a big patriotic deal, more than just the kickoff of the summer season. Rochester had a parade when Sara and Matt were little , which often devolved into controversy between the VietNam Vets and the older units of World War II and Korean soldiers marching by nationality or creed: Italian War Vets, Jewish War Vets, all under the control of the local American Legion. No Japanese or German war vets, although presumably American citizens with that heritage fought. I honestly forget what the controversy was about, but the compromise was usually that the VietNam vets had to march at the end, with a couple of hundred feet between their unit and the rest of the parade. They usually got the biggest and most sustained applause. We always went, and clapped along with everyone else. In those days there were a lot of military trucks and drab olive green equipment rolling down East Avenue, which Matt loved. Over the years turning out the military equipment got too expensive, and the fun of seeing the parade diminished.
I don’t even know if Seattle has a parade, and if it does, I’m quite sure none of us are going. Smaller towns and cities in the heartland are more apt to have them, I imagine.
Word has it that Trump is going to dishonor the day by pardoning U.S. soldier war criminals, because someone on Fox News urged him to do so. Commander Bone Spurs has no more idea of military honor and discipline than a prairie dog. That he will dishonor all of us isn’t even on his radar screen. He likes tough guys who shoot women and children with sniper rifles while waving the American flag.
Matt and Amy are having people over on Monday, which is going to be nice here in Seattle — 77 degrees. That means the pool will be open. I’ll bring a dish and a bottle of wine — as yet undetermined. We might do a smaller just-family thing on Sunday, and if so I’ll spring for the crazy expensive Copper River Salmon.
A friend took me out for a birthday lunch on Friday, which might signal the official end of my 2019 Birthday Season.
Happy Memorial Day weekend to all, whatever it might mean to you.