... a glimpse of the veterans who came home
... the faces of those left to carry on:
We have no names to go with the faces on this essay; the photos are of those men and women who marched in the annual Memorial Day parade, in Melrose. These are the faces of the men who survived to carry on the traditions that other Americans died defending.
The crowd of marchers seems to grow smaller every year, even with the increasing number of soldiers taking part in American actions abroad. Perhaps the key to this celebration are the fraternal organizations -- male and female -- who carry on the old traditions, but lose members as time passes on.
Ironically there was a near record number of local folks taking part this year, both as spectators and those marching in the parade. It is estimated that our numbers topped two thousand this year, almost ten percent of the city's population.
It was a beautiful, warm New England spring day, perfect for a parade. Add the heightened interest in the current war -- and one realizes that more and more civilians are taking part in the direction our country moves. Even at the school level, there were hundreds of elementary school pupils "marching" in this event -- a sign that teachers and parents want their children to be aware of the difference between war and peace. That it costs lives and effort to maintain our American way of life.
So here, for posterity, are the pictures of Melrose citizens who served in the nation's armed forces during the past lifetime. By marching in this parade, they are saying, in essence, "I am proud to have served our country, and I will always remember the men and women who have died in that cause."
There were hundreds more, whose likenesses we should never forget.