Oh drats! They called off the parade. I was looking so forward to it. I’ve never seen a ninety-two million dollar parade! But can you just imagine! They must have been planning on giving away F-22s to the first five hundred adults that lined Pennsylvania Avenue.

I pictured gold sequined tanks and brightly painted nuclear warheads. Surely there would have been floats depicting the charge up San Juan Hill, General Pershing landing in France and our guys storming across the bridge at Remagen. And, if we were lucky, the whole parade would be led by an authentic American Revolution drum and fife corps.

I was hoping to see a genuine biplane from the First World War buzzing overhead. And maybe some left over P-38s from World War II. And I believe the Memphis Belle is operational. Listen, for the money they were planning to spend we could bring back every plane that ever flew a combat mission!

Instead of those little pieces of hard rock candy, Lieutenant Colonels on the last float could be tossing out thousand dollar bills. It would be worth traveling to Washington to see the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles being fired off the railcars.

This parade was going to out Macy Macy!

For ninety-two million dollars every single member of every branch of our military must certainly be required to march in this thing. While the Marine Band lined up on K Street, the 101st Airborne would be assembling across the river in Arlington. It was a Veterans Day Parade that stood a good chance of stretching into Thanksgiving! One knowledgeable old timer “Inside the Beltway” proposed it would be a lot easier to seat all the parade participants in the grandstands……and let every citizen in America march by!

I’m not sure if the cease and desist order came from the Pentagon, White House or the New York Times.

Somebody sure called it off. And if the exit polls reveal canceling it was a good idea, they will all leap immediately into the “take credit” line. If it turns out the other way, we will never hear the end of the finger pointing and acrimonious rhetoric.

Any parade to honor our Veterans is a good idea. There is no debating that. I’m just not sure if this one would have been cost effective. And, to be perfectly honest, we have the only government in the history of mankind that could think up a way to spend ninety-two million on one single solitary parade.

I bet you Burundi couldn’t do that.

The only parade I ever took part in was at Homecoming back in high school. In light of this 2018 rolling pageant revelation, I’m embarrassed to tell you what our projected cash layout was. But I will admit it was a tad under 92 million.

Mr. John Charles Sasser loaned us his flatbed wagon for nothing. And when our class finance committee came back with the cost of chicken wire, Billie Ruth Kirksey remembered there was an old pile of the stuff out behind their barn. We scrounged up every piece of used lumber in town and stuffed red, white and blue napkins in the wire until they covered up the rust.

We absconded with cardboard from that big trash pile beside Junior’s J&J grocery. Every class member was encouraged to bring any color paint they could beg, borrow or steal from home. It was safe to say we put more ingenuity than money in this project. We traded S&H Green Stamps for eleven boxes of napkins and some glue for the paper mache horse we hoped Diana Morris and LaRenda Bradfield could build.

We were going with a “Tame the Mustangs” theme but we couldn’t come up with any brown paint. The Huntingdon High School mascot had a definite psychedelic look surrounded by three McKenzie Rebels meaning to “do him in” as the parade started up Stonewall Street. All of the judges agreed we could have finished a lot higher than fourth place if two of our Rebels hadn’t fallen off when the float turned that curve in front of Raymond White’s service station.

I figure we don’t need a big expensive parade today to remind us of what we owe to every American Veteran that has ever suited up on our behalf. Maybe we all could find some old chicken wire and a few pieces of lumber and build them a tribute in our front yards.

And maybe our government could take some of the ninety-two million they saved on this parade……and share it with the needy Veterans out there.