Monday was Memorial Day. Of course, we all take the day off to honor those who fought for our nation and gave the ultimate sacrifice. It truly is humbling to think of where we are as a country today, and all that has happened to bring us here.
As many towns across our country do, Bay Shore has a traditional Memorial Day parade down Main Street. A while before the parade started, the side roads were blocked off, and people started to scout out prime positions along the curb to honor our men and women in uniform. I wanted a bagel.
I went into a local deli/bagelry in Bay Shore, where the parade traffic had swelled the line to about a dozen people. I waited a few minutes as the line crept forward and people behind me chatted. Then, a sort of reverent hush fell across the line behind me.
A uniformed figure made her way through the door, past the long line of customers, and right up to the front. As a tribute to her service, all those waiting stood aside for her. She proudly marched right up to the register and paid for her grape Snapple. She was a school crossing guard.
Yes, a dozen people at the bagel place just showed Memorial Day reverence to a school crossing guard in her school crossing guard uniform, as she yammered away on her cell phone and cut everyone to get a Snapple. Indeed, she had made the ultimate sacrifice for her nation. She spent 20 minutes a day waving kids across the street while wearing a day-glo orange pinnie. God bless.
UPDATE: It turns out that school crossing guards have a long, proud history. They, and their families, are all considered honorary members of the 3d Royal Crosswalk Regiment, and are entitled to wear the Day-Glo Orange Watch tartan.