Candy flies through the air and skitters along the pavement, chased by little hands. Fireman heroes in shiny trucks blare the lead as sweaty faced teens playing Seventy-Six Trombones follow behind. A swell of applause rises and falls as weathered veterans solemly carry the flag, the severe lines of their faces hiding the pride.
Friends smile and wave and cheer the walkers, drivers, and odd unicycle riders. The crowds are filled with shaded babies, panting dogs, and children clutching bags of parade booty – stickers, cups, pamphlets, and treats. They are nine months to ninety years, towering basketball players to tiny band-leading midgets. They are black, brown, and white. Red, white, and blue.
They are America, my home sweet home.