Today I attended the annual July 4 parade in my hometown of Rancho Santa Fe. It is a nice community event and has a quaint, small town feel.
The parade always starts with a local singing the Star-spangled Banner; this year it was sung by a student from the school. It wasn't a perfect rendition, but that's what makes it quaint. At least she didn't resort to the horrid vocal gymnastics so many singers use to mangle our national anthem. It always brings a lump to my throat whenever I hear it. Next, the fire engines, with sirens blaring and lights flashing, led off the procession. They were followed by a Marine Corps color guard from Camp Pendleton who marched by with the stars and stripes held proudly aloft. After that was the parade of vintage cars, floats pulled by tractors, decorated golf carts, people on horses, and children riding bicyles decked out with red, white, and blue streamers,balloons and flags.
After the parade there was a picnic and concert by a local orchestra on the village green. It was a nice, low-keyed way to spend the afternoon.
I couldn't help but reflect upon the over 3500 men and women of our armed forces who have died,and the thousands of others who have been maimed or injured in Iraq, in an exercise in futility. I am tired of hearing the mantra that they are fighting and dying for our freedoms. This is just more empty rhetoric to justify a tragic waste of lives and treasure. It is a sad state of affairs for this nation. How many more lives will be lost before this national nightmare is over?