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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day

On Sunday Hatfield held its' annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony. The parade marches down Main Street. It's quite a small parade, but it's quite a small town-







The Smith Academy marching band won the National Marching Band Championship in Pennsylvania last week, quite an achievement considering Smith Academy has about 400 students and was competing against much larger schools-









There were several speeches and VFW presentations in Smith Park afterwards. Hatfield has several service members in Iraq, and the young Marine in the background is about to be deployed there. The chaplain of the Hatfield V.F.W., who read the names of members who died this year, is in the dark blue suit on the far right; he's also my barber.

A fly-over of A-10's from nearby Westover AFB was scheduled, but did not happen during the ceremony. After the ceremony we walked home, which is only a few hundred yards down the street from the park. About half an hour later we were sitting on the deck eating lunch, and a pair of A-10s slowly flew over at about 2,000 feet, then came back around a few minutes later, as if they were looking for something... then, about a minute later they came screaming directly over our deck at about 400 mph, only 100 feet off the ground, which was quite a way to end the day!

10 comments:

Cissy Strutt said...

I knew you were an important man, Colonel, but I didn't realise you rated your very own personal fly-past.

Catalyst said...

Small-town patriotic parades are the best . . . even without the A-10 flyover.

Colonel Colonel said...

Cissy- we all felt quite special. I've called in orders for personal fly-overs in the past, but the most I ever got before this was a hang-up or a visit from the FBI...

Catalyst- I cannot tell you how great it is to live in Mayberry, U.S.A. I shock myself just thinking how much fun it actually is. Of course, part of that is that this particular Mayberry is still in 'Happy Valley' Massachusetts, so it's not at all the same as, say, Utah...

Joey Polanski said...

Geez! You guys mus have th last survivin Civl War vet (photo #3)!

Colonel Colonel said...

Joey- good call. Yeah, we Yanks have a few, well-fed, tucked away for a rainy day.

Of course, Memorial Day originated in the aftermath of the Civil War (a favorite topic of study at Polanski University), and at the ceremony a woman sang a folk-version of the Battle Hymn of the Republic to a solo guitar, and it was very haunting. You don't often hear all 4 verses, including "as He died to make men Holy, let us die to make men free". It was well done.

Mike said...

We had the A-10's fly over last year. This year we got a squadron of WWII fighter planes. Not sure if they were on time or not since I didn't go into town to watch the parade.

I think those A-10's are really cool.

Colonel Colonel said...

Mike- A-10s are cool airplanes. They are nicknamed "Warthogs" and are low-level attack aircraft with short, stubby wings and big twin engine hung off the tail. They are effective at their mission, take an incredible amount of punishment and still come back, and are relatively much cheaper than anything else the Air Force flies, so of course they keep trying to cut them out of the budget...

My wife says that for a pacifist I take waaaaay too much interest in war equipment.

Sara Sue said...

What a lovely town you live in!

Colonel Colonel said...

Sara- isn't it beautiful? Tobacco and pumpkin and potato capitol of the Valley. Of course, we also have the RV dealership, trailer park, U-store-it biz, etc., but they are all our on Rte 5, away from the rest of town.

Samantha said...

It makes me so happy to see small-town memorial day parades. You mentioned that Hatfield is a very small town, so it makes me sad that my town--which I consider to be a larger town--'s parade pales in comparison, and only seems to become smaller with each passing year. I try never to miss one of our parades, especially because my father frequently calls cadence. Not enough people care about our men and women in uniform.