Monday, May 25, 2009

Peonies and Parades

Small town America. Summertime. Doesn't get any better than that. Starting with Memorial Day......

Peonies were in bloom, and a profusion filled our yard. Their lush heads generous with layer after layer of beauty and grace. From the palest of pink to the deepest of fuchsia, the glorious shades and hues decorating the end of May. The fragrance was fraught with the promise of that same beauty and grace being infused into our own lives, romanticizing the summer that lay ahead.

Our town honored the selfless sacrifices made by those who gave their lives for our country, and with a parade. The route started on my street and ended cross-town at the cemetery with a touching service.

I was a majorette in the band. I loved the Memorial Day parade. Creak. Slam. Bang. I was in parade formation. No having to drive to the school. No having to get on the school bus and be transported. No down time. No waiting around.

The parade route was festive with the American flag proudly displayed and waved, and lots of fun as familiar faces lined the streets reveling in the excitement of a marching band's beat and energy. Friends, family and neighbors yelling my name made it even sweeter.

The destination, however, was sobering. Solemn, as we entered the cemetery. Remembering....what the parade was about. Too many lives, cut short, in order for us to have lives lived long....lives blanketed in the peace of freedom and boundless in the joy of liberty. Prayers and tributes commemorating their ultimate selflessness were rendered...lest we forget:

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13


I marched those two miles gladly, and the peonies were happy to make the trip to the cemetery as well.....for we always adorned the family grave sites on Memorial Day with the lavish blossoms, in honor of the lavish love they gave by serving our country ~ John Isaac Reeser and John Hunter Reeser....we have not forgotten.
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