Monday, May 25, 2009

Flying the colors at the Hall

Memorial Day was picture perfect Monday. Mr. and Mrs. Hall had spent the better part of the weekend sprucing up the landscaping and manicuring the lawn. As the Gentle Reader is no doubt aware, Master Christopher left early this year to make his mark in the service of the US Air Force, and young Master Ian is eagerly anticipating his graduation and entry into the US Marine Corp. Consequently, Penguin Hall is awash in patriotism this year. Planters were filled with red, white and blue flowers, and little flags marked the drive. Digging out their baseball caps and summer togs, Mistress Colleen and Master Ian leashed the dog and met the Halls downtown for the Marcellus Memorial Parade.
It began with the usual flash of uniforms and a warm welcome to all our veterans in the area. Unfortunately, since most of the veterans in Marcellus find walking the 7/8ths of a mile of the parade route too strenuous, they were conveyed via a series of unmatched and generally unidentifiable vehicles. They were then followed by the girl scouts, the boy scouts, the Marcellus High School Band and three hook and ladders owned by the Fire Department. Seven minutes and once around the local cemetery is usually the extent of the affair; however, this morning the event stretched to nearly ten minutes because of a log-jam somewhere about Maple and North street, involving a stray dog or perhaps a lost child. Having averted a possible pile-up of Brownies and Cub Scouts, the teams regrouped and met together at the Mighty Marcellus Memorial Rock, in the center of town.
There was a prayer and some speeches; an anthem and several solemn songs. The color guard presented, ceremonial gunshots fired and, in the most climatic moment of the morning, Taps was played at the base of the flag, then played again, in response- by a trumpeter far off on the hill, and two army fighter planes performed their fly-over, perfectly on time. The Halls saluted, wiped a tear and holding hands, walked back to Penguin Hall. All in all, a lovely morning.

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