Today I attended the annual 4th of July parade in my town of Rancho Santa Fe. It is always a nice way to celebrate the holiday. It seemed like the whole community turned out to enjoy the festivities. People lined the sidewalks on boh sides of the street to watch the procession go by. It began with the singing of the national anthem and then the procession began with the fire engines, the Marine Corps color guard, and then the parade of classic cars, tractors, horses, golf carts, and the traditional procession of children on bicycles. After the parade, the people gathered on the village green for food and to listen to the music from a local orchestra. It may not be a grand festival, but it is a down-to-earth, small town happening. This year my niece, Dallas, and my nephews, Sterling and Stetson took part in the parade. Sterling was picked to ride up front in the lead fire engine, while Dallas and Stetson were on the Community Center float with other children. Now that my sister, her husband and kids will be living in the community it was nice to see the kids being a part of this tradition.
On this day my thoughts go out to our men and women in uniform who are serving over in Iraq and Afghanistan and those who have lost their lives over there. I just wonder how many more Independence Days will find our troops over there, and how many more of their lives will be lost.