• Allie and Ryan

    Allie & Ryan

  • Allie and Ryan 2

    Allie & Ryan

  • Allie and Ryan 3

    Allie & Ryan

  • Ryan and Allie 4

    Allie & Ryan

  • Ryan and Allie 5

    Allie & Ryan

Friday, June 7, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

This year my Poppy was honored to be named the Grand Marshall in our hometown parade. At 90 years old I could not think of a more deserving man for the job and he was so wonderfully humble the entire time. Ryan and I drove up the Friday before the parade to surprise my grandparents and the next day my mom, dad and brother arrived also a surprise. I had not been home since last July so this was so desperately needed for me. I loved spending the time with my family and of course seeing my Poppy get a well deserved honor.

Saturday one of my cousin's had a high school graduation party so we got to see our entire New Jersey family and we had a great time.

Sunday was parade day. We got up and went to Church, Poppy in uniform in the choir, where he was acknowledged by the priest and congregation... so touching. Then we all ran around while they got ready for the parade itself. It was COLD in New Jersey, especially compared to my wimpy used to eastern North Carolina self, but Sunday was at least sunny. It was windy and it warmed up to the 60s (unlike the 40s and 50s the days prior) so I got to wear my red white and blue dress. Most of us went early to stake out good seats on the parade route... but we didn't realize there was a ceremony berfore the parade for Poppy. None of us knew! My Dad and Aunt happened to be there because they were dropping stuff off for Poppy and just stuck around.

My brother is in JROTC and wore his uniform for the event (so cute) and Poppy insisted he ride in the car with him!

Poppy, Babci and Stefan at the ceremony in the park.

I love this so so much.
I had a video of the parade with Poppy riding by but it won't load. I'll try later!

This is my cousin, aunt, great aunt and mom waiting for the parade to start. We decked out in leis and fun necklaces especially for it too!

Ryan was even willing to post for a picture with me! Shocking when that happens ;) My husband is so anti picture sometimes I want to kick him in the shins :P Luckily I love him so much. I just annoy the hell out of him until he cooperates most times!

My cousin then stole my camera and ran across the street to take some pictures of all of us before the parade arrived. My dad and other aunt made it back by this time so we had quite the nice cheering section. By the way, the chairs we are sitting on (we being my dad, Ryan, me, and my aunt) I think are older than me and nearly fell apart as we sat on them!

Then the parade started. Another vet offered to drive Poppy in his snazzy open top convertible. Poor Poppy is getting small in his old age so you couldn't see him too well!

My mom, cousin Jill, Ryan and I post parade. For me holding the camera out at arm's length it came out really nice!
We followed the convertible to grab Poppy to take him to the post parade free hot dogs. Ryan assisted.

He is so snazzy in uniform. I have seen this my entire life and I still am overwhelmed with pride when I see my grandfather in his dress blues. (Of course when I see Ryan in his too!)

After the hot dogs we ran back to the house to give Poppy a quick nap before running back out to the dinner. The dinner was nice and we showed up late... oops. Poppy needed a quick nap! But we were spread around at a few different tables (guest of honor or not!) and Ryan and I were asked to sit with Poppy and Babci at their table.
Multiple people came up to Poppy to congratulate him and even more gave speeches, including the mayor (who apparently is friends with my Mom from waaaay back in the day)!

My grandfather is quite humble and you can see in the picture below he actually teared up during one of the speeches when he received a standing ovation. Be as humble as you want Pop, no one deserves it more than you.
He then gave a quick speech of his own where he was sure to talk about the true importance of Memorial Day. How he was lucky to make it home and how so many didn't, how he remembers the faces of all the men he served with who did not make it back, even now almost seventy years later.

I was bursting with pride all day. I am so honored to be his granddaughter. I am fortunate to have a World War II veteran in my family, that he is still going strong at 90, that he helped raise me, and that I could be there for this amazing occassion.

Thank you for sharing this incredible day with us Poppy. Hopefully we can get back to New Jersey to see him again soon. Love you!


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