Children love parades. It is not novel, as it is akin to a screen, in which the viewer stands as the center of attention makes moves around them. Many parades in some towns have become a thing of the past, a minor annoyance, tying up traffic.
It seems in Apopka parades are common, a memorial to the past. A mixture of old and new. On the morning after a bittersweet election for many Americans, we stood at the curb to honor the memory of those who had passed and things that were past.
Leaving later at school, I stopped at Kit Land Nelson Park, the center of so many Apopka events, to see the traveling memorial. It is over fifty years ago. Two of my uncles served in the Green Berets, for several tours. Both are gone, neither suffered injury. One hit by a car, the other suffering the effects of cancer.
A year or two, one way or the other, became a life and death issue. In a war where 19 years was the average age, a few years younger might make a difference if you served, perhaps, if you lived. It was a divisive war, the first rifts of the great divide we have crossed over into. The replica, from the Maya Lin memorial, is a testament to all those who lost their lives. Even on a smaller scale it is breathtaking.
The site of the memorial is both well done and sobering. I pass a man on my way out, he nods at me. I do not know him, and I wonder if he served, or if he had a brother who had fallen. There is an unspoken camaraderie, as we are within the bounds of the same age. A shared memory of the past, of being human.