Ann Arborís only Memorial Day Parade takes place every year (for the last twenty-five years) in the northeast corner of Ann Arbor. A cute little neighborhood parade, it starts at Green-brier Park and winds its way past our house and down Bardstown on its way to Glacier Highlands Park on Larchmont. This is Pfizer Land, and all the neighbors are out in front of their houses for the first time since the end of winter, talking about housing prices and sales, checking out the new babies, and reconfirming who is having the barbeque this year.
As my children scurry around excitedly, I remind them one last time that they have to be respectful, that Memorial Day is actually a very somber occasion, one that honors the brave men and women who have given their lives to protect our freedom in America, and that although we do not glorify war, their great-grandfathers on both sides were military men.
Leading the parade are three elderly vets carrying the American flag, accompanied by the snappy Huron High School Drumline. The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, and Brownies are all here in their uniforms, passing out candy with their families. State Representative Pam Byrnes brings a fluffy miniature donkey pulling a covered wagon. The Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan comes with a team of athletic Lion Dancers, jumping and kicking their way down the street. The Ecology Center EcoRide brings a team of bicy-clists. A fire truck and a van from Buschís add some more color. A long red classic convertible brings up the rear with calliope playing.