Melrose Centennial

My Favorite Memory of Melrose 

... Excitement built as our float progressed down Main Street

by Saxton Sharad, Grade 6, 3rd Honorable Mention

I moved to the city of Melrose five years ago. In those five years I've had many memorable experiences. My favorite of all these experiences was when I marched in Melrose's Memorial Day Parade with my alma mater, the Lincoln School. The day before the parade, families met at the city yard to decorate the float. There were boxes full of bows, ribbons, crepe paper, and tissue paper flowers. All of the decorations were fiery red, snow white, and a vibrant blue. Everyone began to decorate the float. We arranged flowers here and bows there until the float was ready for its final touch, Abraham Lincoln's chair. The chair was enormous. It had navy blue velvet upholstery and a high elaborate back with designs carved into the wood. After we fastened the chair we all went home to rest for the busy day we had ahead of us.

The next day was a damp raw day. There were on and off showers and a chill went right up your spine. Despite this, everyone arrived on time. We met in front of Caruso's Pizzeria, on Main Street. The adults lifted the small children up on the float. Charlie Reilly, Mike Buggy, and I were chosen to lead our float and carry the Lincoln School banner. Everybody was dressed from head to toe in red, white, and blue. Then our principal, Mr. Popp, came dressed up as our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. He wore a long, hairy charcoal gray beard, a jet black judge's robe, and a tall ebony hat.  His stature made him the perfect Abraham Lincoln.

Excitement built up as our float progressed down Main Street. As our float passed, hundreds of people waved their hands joyously at us. Flags waved in the gray sky. Before we knew it, we were at Pine Banks and the parade was almost over. Our float began to come to a halt and people began to jump off and walk home. We were all wet and tired from the parade. Just then I realized all of the red, white, and blue, the smiles, and the American flags reminded me of how lucky I am to be an American.  Also how thankful I am to the many soldiers who have fought and lost their lives for our country and our city of Melrose.

April 2, 1999

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