This past Saturday, November 7, Marc, Luke, and I met my parents and Luke's cousins for the Wichita Veterans Day Parade.
We'd never been to a Veterans' Day Parade before. But, we know it's E.X.T.R.E.M.E.L.Y. important to honor veterans, and we really want to teach Luke just that.
I know that wars and military action in general can sometimes be controversial, BUT the bottom line is that our military men and women MUST be honored. They have sacrificed A LOT for the freedoms we have in this country.
I know that Marc and I are extremely grateful for our veterans and their service to our country. We pray Luke sees that in us and that he grows up to thank veterans as well.
Marc, Luke, and I arrived at the parade early. It was a gorgeous November day -- definitely above average here in Kansas. It was soooo nice that Luke was able to wear his flag t-shirt that he originally had on the 4th of July. Fortunately, last summer, it was big on him. Therefore, he was still able to wear it. Our friend, Jess, and her mom, Kathy, made this shirt for Cora's Shop.
Here's a pic of Luke -- we only had a few minutes of him in the stroller before he wanted OUT.
After a bit, but before the parade started, my parents and Luke's cousins (Grace & Natalie) arrived. Grace and Natalie's parents (my brother and sister-in-law) had to work, and so, unfortunately, they were unable to join us...Perhaps next year, Joel and Amber????
Luke entertained himself a bit with his Grandpa K. His grandfather typically has a pen in his pocket. Luke ALWAYS wants to play with that pen.
Soon, the parade started....
The "Kansas Patriot Guard" (motorcycles) were in full force in this parade. There were A LOT of motorcycles. Fortunately, Luke (who tends to scare easily) did not at all mind the motorcycle noise or any other normal parade noise, for that matter. No crying from our boy on this day....
One of the neatest things to see was the air force personnel from our Wichita Air Force Base -- McConnell Air Force Base.
It was at this point in the parade where a female air force member (who was in the parade) commented on Luke's shirt. She said, "Oh -- look at that little boy's shirt." What a great compliment to have for Jess and her mom as well as Luke in the American flag shirt!
Next, many of the JROTC students from Wichita were shown marching in the parade. It was neat to see these students!
This parade had an emphasis this year on honoring D-Day veterans since D-Day was 65 years ago this past June. There were some D-Day vets riding on the float.
The Korean War Vets had a float as well! Marc's dad is a Korean War vet, and so we definitely want to honor those guys.
Even the Coast Guard had a bit of a presence -- though obviously the Coast Guard doesn't have a huge presence in our land-locked state. But, I'm glad they were represented. We'll honor them as well.
Luke had not been to a parade since he was about 2 months old. So, even though he's not running after candy yet (which is not all bad), it was SOOOO neat for Marc and me to see Luke really concentrating on the parade -- especially for a parade as important as this.
Eventually, somebody came by with mini flags. He gave Luke a flag. Oh Boy!!! Jackpot!!! He LOVED the flag. We can't wait to teach him more about our flag someday. In the meantime, I did catch a great pic.
After the parade was over, my dad snapped a family shot of us...it's now on the top of this blog as well.
Afterwards, we all went out for pizza. On the way to eating pizza, Luke fell asleep in the carseat. He was all tuckered out.
Specific veterans that we would like to thank and honor for their service publically on this blog are...
1) Marc's Dad, Alvin Friesen -- served in Korea
2) Mel G. -- Soldier we supported when he served in Iraq; we now keep in contact with him since he's returned.
3) Jeremy R. -- Husband of a former co-workers of mine; Served in Iraq
4) Jerry S. -- Former coworker of Marc's who served in Vietnam
We know our veterans list could go on and on....So, we'll thank ALL veterans for your sacrifice and service to this country!
Please don't think of this Wednesday, the 11th, as just another day. I realize banks, the post office, and other government offices are closed. It's not just another day. Take time to honor veterans!
Walk to west side of island
12 hours ago