Like many towns, we have an annual parade to observe Memorial Day and thank and honor those men and women who have served their country, both in war time and in peace. The ranks are thinning every year as the veterans age; we do not have many young people who serve, a sign of both affluence and possibly apathy, and certainly of changing attitudes towards serving in the military. For my father’s generation it was a question of duty; you served. He chose the army another brother the navy, and so on. My grandmother stoically sent her sons, she had 4, off to war and welcomed them home with huge banners hung across the front of their home and the warm embrace of a mother whose relief at their safe return was, I am, sure quite palpable. I can’t imagine sending either of my sons off to war, I love them too much, and I can’t imagine how mothers feel when their children tell them they have enlisted or applied to Annapolis, West Point, etc. I am just not that brave, but I am extremely thankful and grateful to all of those men and women who do serve and protect our freedoms, and I admire their parents’ quiet resolve and inner strength, while they await the safe return of their sons and daughters.