Pictures recently came up in Facebook memories of my children at the annual Memorial Day ceremony performed in front of the elementary school behind my house. The patriotism displayed by the outfits, songs sung and flags held in the youth was inspiring to me. The pictures were so meaningful, I vowed to go to the school today to capture pictures of our current youth.
As I worked from home, I suddenly heard the Taps trumpet call blaring. I immediately grabbed my camera and ran to the school. I was heart-broken to find there was only a small group of children in attendance.
Apparently, today is also “standardized testing” day. The small group represented the kindergarteners not required to perform such tests. All other students were inside the school performing testing, which I imagine they will never remember taking. I am sure both of my kids have memories of the day in their youth when they gathered around the flagpole with classmates of all ages in camaraderie to honor those who served our Country to establish our precious freedoms.
While it was a disappointing moment, my sprint to the school was not a wasted trip. A beloved friend, Stephen Fowles, was there as part of the ceremonial event. I hugged him immediately. My neighbor, Quincy Police officer Bill Mitchell was also a warm, friendly face in attendance. I asked him to kindly snap a photo of myself and Steve.
I adore this man. People like him show up because it matters for us to recognize and appreciate all of the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans for our Freedom. It is unfortunate to me there was not better planning to allow all the children to experience what Patriotism feels like. The weekend has only just begun, so hopefully there will be other opportunities for them to do so.
If children are to be educated to understand the true principle of patriotism, their mother must be a patriot.~Mary Wollstonecraft
That I AM.