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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Monday, July 04, 2005
Independence Day Parade at Coronado
Kids at the parade

Just returned from the Coronado Island Independence Day Parade. Coronado Island has a very small-town feel - the "main square" has a church directory - and contains not one but two naval bases (well it might be one split into two "campuses"). We had a nice time there in general on the beach but the highlight was definitely this morning's parade.

The parade is quite a big to-do and the island basically shuts down for the morning. In other words, if you're planning to go next year, which you should, get there the night before to avoid the horrendous traffic. Everyone in the crowd - and it was some crowd - was into it. They were all wearing red, white and blue (I say "they" since I have to admit I was wearing an orange shirt. I'll try better next time.) I don't remember all the details of the parade, of course, but I'll give you some highlights.

Choppers! Get down!As you might imagine, the military presence was prominent, capped by two personnel transport helicopters that were so low the guys could have rapelled right down to the street. I found seeing the survivors of Pearl Harbor quite moving, for some reason. I mean, I don't know why I found that more moving than some of the other veterans represented. Anyway, all I'm saying is that it got a little dusty at the parade at that moment.

The Few. The Proud.Some of the marines were wearing black kerchiefs on their heads along with black masks (you can sorta see 'em near the middle if you look close at the photo). It was a little unsettling, especially considering they were holding AK-47s. My wife said that they looked like terrorists. Suddenly the marines stopped and did a little play-action: the regularly dressed marines apprehended and disarmed the terrorists. Oh, so that's what they had in mind. Good stuff. Of course, they then handed the weapons back to the "terrorists" and continued marching. Nevertheless...

This Bud's For YouThere were many, many other military entries, including a group representing the Mormon Battalion of 1846. The other two well-represented groups were the Shriners (my, there were a lot, and I mean, a lot of them) and Budweiser. They had the old-style wagon pulled by the Clydesdales and three, count 'em, three, 18-wheelers of Bud. Oh, and one PT Cruiser for Bud Light. My favorite armed group, however, was the Winchester Widows.

This description is not doing the scene justice, so I'll stop here and just tell you have to be go next year. Better make reservations now, really. And we should probably wake up at 6 the morning of the parade to put up a shade and set up some tables and chairs. It was like 3 hours long. Who's with me?

I'll leave you with this: My daughter was so inspired that she sang the five patriotic songs she knows all the way home to Los Angeles. The lyrics were a little off ("forever waves of grapes") but she nevertheless announced that she had decided on what she wants to be when she grows up: Maker-up of songs about America.
What a fun post! I love the pictures! The Winchester Widows link is great too. There's a women's group at our synagogue (you know the one I mean, Ralphie) that I would love to see as Old West horse-mounted riflewomen!

Are you really going again next year? If so, perhaps you could coordinate with my social director, ball-and-chain. It looks like something the Beans would love.

I last went to see the parade back in the 1980s and I remember that the entire island turned out to watch. Good stuff.
Nice post! I was in La Jolla for the 4th (fireworks on the beach)and on Coronado Island on Wednesday. Both areas are so beautiful!
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