Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 4, 2011: Monson at the East Longmeadow Parade: After the Tornado

On the day before the 4th, chairs were lined up along both sides of the road, chairs without people, insuring space along the route of the East Longmeadow Parade, ensuring the right of the people of East Longmeadow to celebrate the 235th birthday of the United States of America.  As one man shouted out while watching the parade, "It's a great day to be an American."  I'm not quite sure what he meant by the statement, but there it is!

Amidst the Shriners' clowns

and the marching bands from the towns of Western Massachusetts and Connecticut in East Longmeadow's Fourth of July parade,
walked the folks from the hills of Monson, carrying a gigantic flag over an invisible casket, dragging leafless tree branches behind them,

commemorating in silence the destruction that occurred 34 days earlier, a mournful testament to the loss and devastation wrought by the tornado of June 1, a testament which, in the midst of the joy that came before and after, brought tears to the eyes of the onlookers.


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