I’ve grown ambivalent toward Memorial Day over the years. I believe it’s important to recognize the contribution made to our society by members of the military, to acknowledge the sacrifice of men and women killed in combat while wearing the uniform of the United States. I also believe it’s vital to maintain a connection between the present generation and those that came before, and to be aware of our history. I think it’s healthy for us to do these things not just as individuals, but together in our communities, and as a larger society.
But I also hate large gatherings of people and find parades incredibly tedious.
Today was the Memorial Day parade in Sharpsburg. The actual Memorial Day isn’t for two more days (or seven, depending on how old-school you are), but the big parade’s always over the weekend. It always goes the same way: the parade is a charming, delightful fifteen or twenty minutes. Then it goes on for another hour and change.
The parade itself is so dull that I’m forced to find little things about it that amuse me. (At this point you may be asking why I bother watching the parade at all. This is an excellent question. There are three reasons, as far as I can determine. The first reason is that Ashley enjoys it. Since I love Ashley, and enjoy seeing her happy, this is an excellent reason. The second reason is that the parade passes literally right outside my front door, and it would therefore be silly not to watch it, since if I stayed inside and just tried to watch TV or something, the parade would irritate me even more. The third reason is that I always park my truck close to the corner where the parade passes by, and Ashley and I sit on the roof to watch it. Anyone who ever passes up an opportunity to sit on the roof of his or her truck is a fool indeed.) These amusing little details are the same from year to year. I enjoy watching the little majorettes drop their batons, and I take great pleasure in mocking the douchebag from Frederick.com who zipped up and down the parade route taking photos from his Segway.
By the way, has anyone ever compiled a list of the most idiotic, embarrassing, self-damning inventions ever conceived? Because if such a list exists, I cannot imagine any device other than the Segway at the top of it. Segways are the dumbest things human hands have ever made.
Watching for our local elected representatives is always fun, too. The useless Delegate Chris Shank and the likable but totally exhausted State Senator Don Munson rode by, waving and tossing out candy. Oh, and a color guard marched by, with the splendid Maryland flag flying upside down. Imagine such a travesty, if you have the stomach. What would Little Sorrell have thought?