July = Show Your Star-Spangled, Hometown Pride!
What is the best part of where you live? Do you enjoy it and make time for it? Maybe it’s a physical feature - local lake, beach, ocean shore, or mountain range. Maybe your town has great architectural sites or monuments and museums. Maybe you are home of a fantastic festival, whether it’s large or small. How often do we make time to act like a tourist in our own town and enjoy the scenery, festivities, or culture?
I grew up in a suburb of Detroit - the kind of city that had no downtown district, was filled with strip malls, and blended into the next city pretty seamlessly. It didn’t have much that was unique, but it had a whopper of a Memorial Day Parade. I was surprised to discover as an adult that it was the second largest in Michigan! I participated many years in that parade, walking past miles of metal and plastic-webbing lawn chairs (if you’re a child of the 70s you know what I’m talking about). I didn’t think much at the time other than waving flags, getting candy and later as a pre-teen making it the entire route without dropping my baton. But I remember the smiling and flag-waving veterans and realized that it wasn’t often that we thanked those who protected my suburban childhood.
Now I live in a town that has a Coast Guard base and takes it role seriously as a celebrator of all things Coast Guard, complete with a two week long festival. I am so glad that my kids have been able to grow up in a town where they see thousands of people cheering and celebrating those who serve to protect our beach town way of life.
Let’s make time this summer to celebrate what is great about our towns - whether it’s a beautiful feature, a bit of history, or a fun tradition!