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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Small Town 4th

 Today is Independence Day! The day in 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was voted on and approved by representatives of thirteen English colonies. That act created this wonderful nation that we call the United States of America. All of the USA spends the day grilling, celebrating and parading.

Williamsburg is no different. The parade route goes right in front of our house.  Dad and I went out to the front porch at about 3:00pm to wait for the festivities to begin.

When we got out there we found that people had already begun gathering on our front lawn to watch the parade. When Willie got there he asked me if any of them had asked if we minded that they sit there. I said no, and that I think in small towns if you live on a parade route your lawn is considered community property during a parade. That's how it was in Rossville last year, too.

Bazinga, of course, didn't want to be left out of the fun. We brought him out on his leash so he could party down in his own favorite way, chewing on sticks.

While we were waiting for the parade to start, some of the kids also waiting, came up and played with Bazinga. Being a little attention hog, he loved every minute of it. They kept bringing him sticks to chew until he had quite a pile next to him.

Finally, we saw the color guard coming down the street. Everyone stood up and most of the men thought to take their hats off. The crowd erupted into applause as the flag went by. Town pride turned into a more engulfing pride of country. A thankful community wanted to let the soldiers know that we knew who keeps us free and the sacrifices it takes to keep us free.

The color guard was closely followed by the Veterans of Foreign  Wars. Some walking proudly behind the color guard and others on a float. The applause continued until these small town heroes passed by. The faces of wars past. The faces of courage and endurance. Faces that have seen the best and worst this world could throw at them. Faces like my father's.

Of course no small town parade would be complete without a high school marching band. Not in their most pristine uniforms, but marching just the same. A little rusty maybe, the seniors of last year gone now, and the new freshmen of next year not as practiced as they will be. They still sounded great.
How can you have a  parade in Iowa without tractors?
 And fire trucks blinking their lights and blowing their sirens. Driving the local dogs absolutely berserk.

 And funny little tiny cars.
 Of course there must be a queen and her court.

You know this guy was glad it wasn't a normal hot and humid Iowa July 4th.
 There were big tractors.

There were little tractors.
Annnnnddddd...... There was even Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. On a Harley. In July. At the end of the parade. I'm pretty sure they were happy it wasn't a normal July 4th day, too. 

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