I can remember the Civil War Veterans

riding in open cars —

too old to walk in the parade — over 90.


Walking were some Vets

from the War to End All Wars —

later changed to

World War I.


The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were there

and some fire trucks and police cars.


I was drumming  in the marching band.


We got to the cemetery.

There were some speeches

and then some guns fired —

a salute to those

who gave their lives for  the USA.


Then we marched back

to where we began, where by then

a baseball game had started

right next to our school.


There were many bicycles

with their spokes decorated

with red, white and blue crepe paper —

and Good Humor  ice cream was sold.


That’s how I recall it

and it repeated itself, it seems —

year after year until one year

when it happened

I was in Boot Camp

becoming a  sailor.


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