Since the pandemic began over two years ago, I’ve been faced with doing our on-line ad earlier and earlier, due to printing deadlines and a shortage of manpower in the companies that provide us with our “specials”. We are now out about a month in advance of the date when these advertisements become active and available for you to view, either in-store with a hard copy or on-line.
What that means is, I’m writing this column on April 26th, the day before the weather app on my phone is predicting snow showers! Snow on April 27th for goodness sakes! There’s no goodness about it. I remember reading something back about the time the woodchuck predicted six more weeks of winter that suggested wintry weather was going to hang on this year – probably well into April! I hate it when they’re right.
But now a month later, as you’re reading this, we’re preparing to celebrate the “Gateway to Summer” national holiday! I always consider Memorial Day the start of summer even though the calendar won’t acknowledge it for another three weeks or so. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that the leaves are fully formed on the maple and oak trees around Smethport. The temperatures will have risen into a more temperate region, dandelions will have a strong hold on lawns all over town and the Smethport Marching Band is tuning up for their first parade of the year.
I love the Memorial Day weekend, always have, and judging by the turnout along the parade route every year, the residents of Smethport and the surrounding area agree with me. Maybe it’s the parade itself, or maybe it’s the solemnity of the 21-gun salute at the Mechanic St. bridge and the laying of the wreath – accompanied by the soulful strains of “Taps” played by the Hubber Marching band bugler.
Whatever the reason, Memorial Day is an opportunity to pause and reflect on all the many blessings we enjoy and share in our small town. Blessings that were guaranteed in blood by the many armed forces heroes that came not only from our little borough but from all across the land. The steady stream of cars and foot traffic into Rosehill Cemetery gives us pause as we, and all Americans, pay tribute to those “who gave all”. Never let us forget and always remember to honor those who, by their sacrifice, made America the land of the free and the home of the brave.