This year to add to the usual 4th of July activities one of our local radio station dj's- Big Al Howard came up with an idea to put a parade together to honor all of the soldiers that are fighting and have fought for our country. His brother was killed in Iraq and he began an organization called "Operation Never Forget" where busts of fallen soldiers are made to honor them. When a soldier from a small town gets killed or wounded in wartime it's like everyone somehow has a link to them. The parade marshalls were family of the fallen soldiers, or even soldiers that had been wounded. Jonathan was asked to drive his vehicle in the parade and he had LCorp Will Chapmen who was wounded in action. My eyes fill with tears anytime I see a military person being honored, and people stand up and clap. We owe them Everything and sometimes they just don't get the thanks they deserve. Jonathans grandfather is a retired Marine, and was able to come from the nursing home to watch the parade, and he said as they drove by him, Will's dad said "look at that gentleman smiling!" It was grandaddy Keith, and Jonathan proceeded to tell them that he served in the marines in World War II. One of my best friends, Stan , was part of the 3rd Infantry Divison that were among the first to go into Iraq and my heart flls up for him when he would tell me stories. Some of my best memories are him calling me from Iraq in the afternoon(which was 230AM United States time) and would be like "oh no, did I wake your dad up?!" In walmart one day after talking to him and his new wife I walked off and turned around to see him bending down and shaking the hand of an elderly man with a WWII vet hat on, and saying "Thank you sir" needless to say I left the store in tears. We can't thank all the veterens, soldiers now, and future soldiers enough. Because of them we are free.
Wow..that turned into more than I set out to write, but it's something I feel strongly about. Take time every night to pray for our troups. Whew..now back to the parade. There ended up being over 100 entries in the first parade and Big Al did an awesome job. Of course the Rhinestone Rockers were in the parade AND we got 1st place in the marching unit! We danced to Rodney Atkins -It's America song, and even tho some of us didnt' make it the whole parade in the 95degree heat I thought it turned out well!
Here is a pic I stole from my friend Ashley who took picturse of all th parade entries!