Day 232: Coming together in community

Today was the day that the first responders in my community were escorting the body of our fallen Blue Angel through town and towards the airport for his final flight home. I was planning on getting out of town early today for a short vacation, but since I wanted to participate in this event, I decided to put off leaving until after the caravan passed through. So my daughter-in-love and I grabbed our American flags and ran downtown to see if we could wave in honor.

It was supposed to happen between 10 and 10:30. We got to the town depot, sort of the hub of our old town, and we saw some others gathered in a gazebo. So we walked there to wait until we heard sirens.

The others there greeted us and were so friendly. We felt a connection in doing this thing together, as a community.

It was taking longer than we expected, so since there was a donut place across the street, and I hadn’t eaten breakfast, and my daughter-in-love had never eaten a white-cream-filled donut, we took a walk in that direction. We finally got a crosswalk signal and, since my daughter-in-love is Brazilian, she ran across the street. We laughed because we know pedestrians do not have the right-of-way in most places in Brazil and she’s been conditioned to run. It was a moment of knowing. We got the sugary-sweetened poison and enjoyed every bite and, as we waited for the caravan to pass, it started to pour. We got wet and sought shelter under a tree but the leaves were leaky, so we dove back in under that gazebo. People were leaving and saying that someone from the city posted that it had been cancelled. A guy under the gazebo called a police dispatcher who confirmed the caravan was on the way, so I posted that news on our neighborhood page. People kept insisting that it was not coming, but a few minutes more and the sirens could been heard and flashing lights seen.

They were moving at a fast pace, probably to get people out of the rain, so it was over quickly…but I was glad I hadn’t listened to those who said it was cancelled. It was worth it to honor this hero who gave up his life to protect our town’s citizens. He could have ejected and saved his life, but he wouldn’t have had control of where the plane went after that, and so laying down his life for us, he potentially saved many others in those crowded surroundings from being hurt, or worse.

Taking that time out of my day was worth every minute, every bit of confusion, and the soaked clothes we were wearing. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

DAY 232 HOMEWORK: No homework tonight. Just be grateful for those around you who sacrifice for you in any way. We shouldn’t take it for granted.

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