This morning, Aiden and his Cub Scout Pack marched in the Leavenworth Veteran's Day Parade, the oldest Veteran's Day observance in the nation, and the largest parade west of the Mississippi. While the boys marched, Aubrey and I staked out a spot on the curb halfway through the parade route to watch and wait for the boys to pass by. And it was COLD. I mean really, really cold. Like, 30 degrees cold.
Lucky for all of us, it was a sunny day without much wind, so the cold was tolerable. Aubrey and I even found a spot in the sun to park our chairs in, so with our hats and coats and long underwear and boots and a giant fleece blanket, we were sort of warm.
Poor Brad, he marched in just his uniform and a thermal shirt underneath--no coat. And Aiden, out of pride for his cub Scout uniform, took his coat off to march for about half the parade. Then he
The parade was great to watch. We saw plenty of men and women in uniform to cheer for. There were tons of elderly veterans in cars and on floats to applaud, even a 98-year-old man who served in WWII. Candy was flying, motorcycles revving, school bands playing and choirs singing. But the most memorable part, for me, was when they stopped the parade to play taps. I couldn't help but break down into tears, hearing that lonely, sad tribute, thinking of the friends and fellow soldiers we have lost over the years, and all the mothers, fathers, widows and widowers who have gotten that life-changing visit from a chaplain.
After the parade, we went to the old soda fountain and lunch counter at the Corner Phamacy for lunch and a treat, closing out our cold morning with the warmth that comes from spending time with loved ones.