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Here's To Harry.

Memorial Day 2020 | For Real.

Five years ago we lost my Grandfather, Ralph Miller. He was a WWII Veteran, he served in 'The Big One,' he would tell us. He was 98 and a half when he passed, a Veteran of the U.S. Army, and was strong and lively to the very end. Three months ago we lost my Father, R. Alan Miller. He served in the United States Marine Corps reserves for seven years, a part of his life which he remained proud of his entire life. I am blessed enough to be the daughter, niece, granddaughter, and daughter-in-law of those who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy.

Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Armed Forces Day, and in our home, the USMC Birthday are all important moments of pause and appreciation in our normally over-scheduled and oft too busy lives. We honor those that serve, those that served, and those that gave their lives serving us citizens of the United States of America. The lack of normalcy due to the effects of Covid-19 have removed the tradition of honoring our fallen soldiers by way of the ever present Memorial Day Parade.

Expecting to have a pretty empty Monday off this year, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from a friend about a plan to brighten the day of a World War II Veteran who was disappointed that we would not be holding the traditional parade in Bath this year. Brett McIntire contacted me on Sunday night informing me that his neighbor, Harry Higgins, “was pretty bummed that it got cancelled. He is a 95 year old WWII Vet who also lost his son in Vietnam. I could tell he was upset the parade was cancelled so I told him we should hop on the tractors and drive the parade route anyways. So tomorrow around 10 we are leaving the Legion and driving the tractors through town on the normal parade route.”

Brett asked if I would want to take some photos – of course I jumped at the idea, feeling honored to be able to help document such a great event. I told him how cool it was that they are doing this, putting together 4 or 5 tractors to parade through Bath for Harry, who immediately made me think of my own grandfathers. Brett replied, “The City needs something to feel good about!” I wholeheartedly agree.

So today we took a few pics, and seeing Harry drive that tractor through town certainly made my day. Luckily, Harry felt the same as Brett said “It definitely made Harry's day,” too. From the smiles of drivers and passersby, I can say it absolutely gave us all something to feel good about.

Thanks for the smiles today, Brett and your fellow tractor paraders! This was a great example of the way life is right now – turning something disappointing into a positive and memorable experience while hanging on to the shred of what normalcy we've got left.

Here's To Harry for the inspiration, and making sure we did not forget what today is supposed to be about – The Heroes for making the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

Here's To The Heroes. Today and every day.

You can view the full gallery of images here:

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