Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011: Breakfast of Champions

On Memorial Day, before the bands and public ceremonies, before the politicians and the fire trucks and ambulances, before the scouts and little league, before the balloons and waving flags, and before the antique cars, Hillsborough hosts an even more important event: the Salute to Veterans Breakfast.

The breakfast guests are the veterans of Hillsborough, their spouses, and their widows and widowers.

After the great food and hot coffee, after the greetings and welcoming speeches, after the reunion of friends who may only see one another once a year, comes the moment that is the most important time of the day. The moment for which each one has ultimately waited. The most important moment of this important event: the Roll Call of Veterans.

At the Roll Call each veteran - from World War II to those still serving - stands and states their name, their branch of service, when and where they served, and what they did. Sometimes they add a poignant memory - a certain battle, a loss. For some this is hard. Occasionally they make a joke about their service, understood best by those other veterans in the room.

No matter how long it takes, each one has his unhurried moment. The attention of the room. Dignity. Empathy. Respect.

For more about Memorial Day 2011 in Hillsborough, go here to meet the parade marshals.

Go here to see pictures of the parade.

Go here to see the Garden of Honor Ceremony.

Go here to see the people and their pets.

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