|COLOR GUARD OF VETS|
|A FLOAT FOR A CAUSE...|
|...AND ANOTHER CAUSE|
|THEN HOME TO BAYFIELD|
|SAILS ON A HAZY SEA|
We caught the early ferry to LaPointe yesterday morning, and snagged good seats for the 10:30 AM parade. There was a large crowd, and all the ferries were pressed into service. It was a fine day for a parade, which unfortunately, I think, fell flat. There were too many disparate causes in the parade, some with floats and some just with walkers. Everything from breast cancer to rather obscure local environmental concerns were represented. Many were not understandable to most folks watching the parade, I am sure. We have become a fractured society, each individual and each group sounding its own horn, giving its own speeches, riding on its own float, marching in its own parade. There were some homey aspects to the event, but there was an absence of the compelling local humor, hoopla and sentimental patriotism of past years. Too many eyes watched smart phones instead of the parade. The flag and the veterans were applauded respectfully but there was a lack of spontaneity, and nothing brought a tear to the eye or a lump to one's throat.
And then I couldn't forget Lance Corporal Merlin Allen, his remains repatriated after a half century on enemy soil. Had he lived, he probably would have been one of the old veterans marching with the flag. What might he have thought of this 4th of July, and of America today? If he were there in spirit, dead these 47 years, would he have thought his sacrifice worthwhile? We have spent a decade and more trying to tear each other apart in this land, often for little reason other than winning the argument du jure.
I looked hard for Merle at the parade, but I couldn't find him.