Veterans Day has come and gone – and with it – the remembrances all of us have of those who served and gave their lives and of those now serving and willing to die.
Since the time of the Revolutionary War, hundreds of Chelsea residents who served in the armed forces of this nation have died in battle.
More than a handful died in the Revolutionary War. The Civil War took dozens of Chelsea lives. World War 1 and World War II, Korea and Vietnam – hundreds upon hundreds gave their lives in the ongoing fight for freedom.
There was no parade this year, just a few special services and commemorations at local cemeteries and at the Soldiers Home.
For those of us who are Baby Boomers, who had fathers who served in World War II, there is the recollection of a parade every year up Broadway of veterans from the time we were young enough to walk until well into the 1990’s.
The parades featured thousands of veterans and floats and marching bands.
Veterans Day in Chelsea was always something to recall.
It is still something to recall but the parades are done – there hasn’t been one in years.
The veterans from World War II are all dying rapidly – and of the thousands who served and who used to march, there are only a handful remaining well enough to participate in a parade.
However, the belief in this nation that caused so many to serve and to fight and to die for over the centuries is what remains cogent about this holiday from year to year as the nation matures.
The brave men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and all over the world in the name of freedom and this great nation, are the new heroes taking the place of those who came before.
And that’s what this holiday is all about – giving thanks for the sacrifices veterans make and have made.
It is about giving thanks that this nation stands for freedom and justice – and that our women and men are willing to serve and to die to maintain this reason to exist.
Veterans Day 2009 was a time to remember.