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Memorial Day parade could have been better
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Somebody’s got to say it.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more poorly planned and executed excuse for a parade in my life!  The most important feature, the World War II veterans, were just a bunch of old men in cars that many viewers didn’t even realize the significance of.  

These gentlemen should have been relaxing in easy chairs, on floats or at least flatbed trucks decorated to exemplify various battles or theatres of war; while young men portraying them in full uniform or battle dress, perhaps armed with M-1 rifles (or Thompson sub-machine guns) borrowed from the JROTC program, stand by at parade rest.  This should have been a living history lesson.  And more is the pity that some of these veterans may not be available to be properly paraded next year.  There wasn’t even a marching band!  Where were the local high school marching bands?  The best part were the horses and the restored International Harvesters (which we know of thanks to the Bulletin).  

The next Memorial Day Parade should start being planned right away; it should be written and sketched to outline the key elements of the whole war, Pearl Harbor to the Bulge!  Resources should be located and reserved; volunteers recruited for various functions; let’s get the drama departments involved to costume and portray high school aged boys and young men to depict this concept; yes, and girls to represent nurses, the angels of mercy.  There should be meetings as often as necessary to start planning and producing next year’s parade.  America’s greatest generation deserves no less.  

We do, however, owe this exercise in mediocrity one thing for sure; the idea to have such a parade in the first place.  The Memorial Day Parade should expand, in years to come, to feature veterans from different wars.
 Steven J. Catalano
June 2, 2010