Spring has been late this year. We had January, February, March, more March, and then a weird hybrid I’m calling Maypril. When we got up the morning of the Memorial Day parade, the temperature was 37 degrees and it was raining.
We dressed warmly and drove up to the center of town for the procession, one of my favorite events of the year. The police closed Main Street, a tricky business, as it is the main east-west highway in southern New Hampshire, and the whole town marched up to the cemetery, following the veterans, the middle school band, and a gaggle of Cub Scouts, Brownies, and Little Leaguers.
The cemetery looks west across our lake, which was flecked with whitecaps in a stiff breeze. As we assembled among the stones, some going back to Revolutionary times, the drivers waiting for us were released, and they roared by. Between the traffic and the wind, hardly a word of the minister’s patriotic speech was audible.
Then the police closed the road again, and we retreated into town for the national anthem and the raising of the flag back to full-staff. All in all, it was a miserable way to spend a morning, but compared to what many of the men with flags on their graves suffered, we could hardly complain.