May 28th, 2013 at 4:48 pm
Summer is here! I just love this time of year, with late nights under warm, starry skies; cookouts, lemonade, and ice cream; and trips “down the shore” for sun and sand. To kick off our summer-long festivities this year, we headed to State Street in Media for the town’s Memorial Day parade. After a rainy, chilly start to the holiday weekend, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the annual event.
I still can’t believe I’m able to be so close to the city yet still live a small-town life. Nothing beats a parade down Main Street USA in terms of Americana, and Media’s was no exception. Hundreds of peopled decked out in red, white, and blue joined us in a festive celebration of local heroes, complete with classic cars, a marching band, little leaguers, and fire trucks to delight the little ones.
Young and old from all walks of life—and a whole lot of dogs, too—lined State Street for the parade. The crowd cheered and applauded as veterans from all branches of the military from World War II forward, men and women, passed by. I thought of my 94-year-old grandfather, a Pearl Harbor survivor who lives in Harrisburg, and how touched he would be to see the outpouring of respect. Beneath the excitement over the unofficial start of summer was a palpable solemnity. The playing of “Taps” at the memorial wall honoring Media’s veterans at the start of the parade reminded us all of the true meaning of the day.
Following the parade, we strolled down State Street to the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum, which preserves the living history of veterans in its remarkable collection. Normally open Thursdays through Sundays from noon until 5pm, the museum, located at 12 East State Street in the Media Armory, opened its doors especially for the holiday.
Dioramas, interactive kiosks, a mini movie theatre, and exhibits display memorabilia and tell of the true cost—and the valor—of war from the perspective of both the military and civilians. The museum is always free, and there are many excellent volunteers there to guide you through the collection. If you’ve never been, I urge you to visit this remarkably moving museum. We all could learn something from what’s contained in its walls.