July Fourth parades across the US – in every small town and big city – bring those precious principles to life. They bring the American dream onto Main Street. From scout troops and horse riding academies to jazz bands and insurance companies. Parishes, synagogues and Maria’s school of dance. Local sports heroes follow drum and bugle corps and clowns. All proudly flying their “This is an important part of who I am” flags. They march together so we can all celebrate American diversity. American greatness. All those differences are woven into a beautiful tapestry that keeps us strong.
For me, the most moving parade units are those groups who work to keep us all safe and free. Military groups. Firefighters. Law enforcement. Rescue units. Walking in unison – in uniform. Smiling and waving to us – the people they are protecting. When veterans pass by – especially those who are showing the effects of time – I feel waves of gratitude. I yearn to look everyone of them in the eye – hand over my heart. Sometimes gratitude is hard to express. This is one of those occasions.
I wish you all a happy Independence Day filled with celebrations of what is special about you, your family and your town. Let the fireworks begin.