By John Cirillo
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(Note: media outlets have permission to use this story).
Chappaqua, NY, May 30—Black and white, brown and yellow, young and old, men, women, children, and canines, gathered to honor those who serve the red, white and blue late this morning. The town’s people of Chappaqua assembled at the bottom of the King’s Street hill for a regal salute to those who risk their lives, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, at the annual Memorial Day parade in this tony Westchester village.
The 10:30 am start time was seemingly delayed until 11:10 am, unless we had checked the wrong schedule. Finally the sirens screamed, as did the crowd, and we were underway.
Fran and a feisty Finn anxiously awaited for the parade to begin. Sadie, Red, Cody and Nessie were all in attendance, the latter two apropriatetly garbed in blue bandanas.
All excitedly participated in the pre-parade photo opportunity. George had already gone back to New Jersey, after celebrating his birthday the day before. Dave, Leslie and Josh missed the proceedings, believing the forecast had called for a postponement. Katie and Pete were in Connecticut. Richard, Jessica and Simone were absent, as were Chris, Heather and Princess Molly – all Chappaqua residents – so next year we will have to send formal invitations to ensure their participation.
Gene‘s rescue dog trio Brody, Sandy, and Winston (above); and The Jacobsons‘ pair of Sebastian and Xzena (below) were sniffing around in Connecticut, but maybe they’ll make their way down the pike to participate in 2017.
The Viet Nam war veterans, as is customary, led this parade, and we missed our neighbors Michael and Laurie Green, their feet now Aiken while marching in South Carolina today.
But former President Bill Clinton, presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Governor Andrew Cuomo more than ably picked up for any slack. The Clintons have regularly marched in this parade since moving to Chappaqua in 1999, sans political agenda, to remember the fallen.
Following the Viet Nam heroes came the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, high school bands complete with trombones, bugles, trumpets, and assorted horns – favorite son Rich Rose would have been proud – friends of the Chappaqua Libary, Firemen, Policemen, Emergency Service Workers, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers and veterans who make the grand old U.S.A. the land of the free, and the home of the brave. God Bless America.
The applause and barks resonated from both sides of King’s Street, from the top of the hill to the bottom, and on into town.
The girl scouts marched with glee as they skipped down the hill; the trombones and bugles were seemingly all in tune on this illustrious morning; the proud veterans waved from vintage tanks and autos. The downpours from the night before were past history, though a drop or two did spit at us while we waited for the start.
A boy scout, exhausted from the proceedings, sipped on a soft drink, but like all in attendance was buoyed by what had transpired.
A lone dachshund dashed down the street with his Master as the parade concluded, this little hot dog was sniffing in the afterglow of pride for service. Now it was time for hot dogs of the edible variety, baseball, and apple pie at Memorial Day barbecues across the land. But together we remembered what the true meaning of Memorial Day is, and said thank you for serving.
More photography from the lens of Socrates Bustamante