| I attended a very quaint Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony last evening [Dec. 4] in the Town of Wilbraham. It had Santa, hot chocolate, donut holes, Christmas music and just a great feeling of Christmas to come. |
The air had a bite, and the puffs of steam coming out of people’s mouths as they laughed and talked. The kids were running around and playing and there were even a few dogs waging their tail as people would walk by and pat them on the head.
After all the happenings this town has had over the past year, it needed a night like this. Santa had each child come and sit with him and he gave each and every one of them a chance to say what they wanted for Christmas, handed them a candy cane and sent them on their merry way. In short, it was a great evening.
My wife and I brought our grandson, he got caught up in all the happenings of the evening but one of them he wanted to do and we gave an absolute “no” to. He wanted to join some of the other kids climbing and jumping on the war memorials put in place as a sign of respect for those that have served and died for their country and their town. The monuments cover a span of wars from Gettysburg to a war we have been in for a decade, and the parents gave no never mind to allow their children to jump up and down on the memorials to those who defended their right to live free and attend such a ceremony.
It really saddens me that they had/have no thought or respect for these sacred monuments. It didn’t kill the evening, but I sit here the next morning thinking of the tree lighting, the smells, the music and laughter and I keep coming back to one point ... the lack of respect the parents showed and allowed and the lack of respect their children will show and allow their own children to have for those who have fought and fallen for them.
Timothy L. Tracy
Sergeant, United States Marine Corps, 1981 - 1993
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