I just read a blog post by a former Massapequan about her Memorial Day memories as a child, and it got me thinking about my own. I grew up in Massapequa Park, Long Island, NY in the mid-1960s-70s, and watched our village parades with my parents and an older sibling or two on Park Blvd. Even if we got there 2 hours early my parents had to park the car blocks away and carry their folding aluminum lawn chairs to a decent spot along the parade route. My father was a WWII veteran, and when I was small I sat on his shoulders to watch the parade, and when I was older I would sit on the curb, and whenever the flag approached both of my parents would announce “here comes the flag–stand up!” I even remember them shaming other, older kids, into standing up as the flag went by, tapping them on the shoulder and saying “here comes your flag–show some respect”– and they would! A day or two before the parade my mother always bought us kids small American flags (the kind on wooden sticks) at the five and ten store to bring to the parade to wave, because “the people selling them at the parade want too much money.” Mom and dad always made sure to explain to us kids what the significance of the day was, and it eventually stuck in our young minds.
This years’ Memorial Day Parade info for Massapequa Park: http://www.masspk.com/index.php/12-press-release/80-memorial-day-parade-2015