memorial day parade Itasca, Illinois
I just watched the Mark Wahlberg movie "Patriots Day" (about the Boston Marathon bombing) two days ago. And today I just watched the Memorial Day parade in my hometown, Itasca, Illinois.
Parades always move me. The idea that people come together to celebrate their lives, their country, their friends and families, their hopes and dreams. It warms my heart. But today I was also moved for another reason.
Fire engine sirens heralded that the parade was getting close. I live right on the parade route and have seen it so many times I have how it works down pat. So yeah, I grabbed my camera and went downstairs. The people. Old, young. Some pregnant. All happy. Laughing. Together. Excited. I relaxed into the warm, loving vibe.
Then BOOM! Down the street, just out of my line of sight, the Civil War re-enactment soldiers marching in the parade had shot off their muskets. The pregnant woman next to me jumped a little, and I saw a dog shivering with its tail between its legs.
this puppy got spooked by the musket boom
When the pregnant woman realized what had happened she laughed, and the dog owners bent low to comfort the puppy. And that was the extent of the effect of the boom.
But I couldn't help but think of the "Patriots Day" movie and the after-effects of the boom/explosion for the runners and the crowd gathered to watch the Boston Marathon. The explosion knocked people from their feet, tore the limbs off some, killed others. People scrambled to help but the smoke and confusion and fear made it hard. It was terror, chaos.
And all for what?
I'm an optimistic person, but I can't help but wonder why human beings on this earth can't get along. Why hate still drives people to kill their fellow human beings.
But I'm sure of one thing: the power of the love I experienced today in the coming-together of people wanting to live and love and build the world up will overcome whatever powers of darkness confront it.
Sting has a song called "After The Rain Has Fallen" that has a lyric:
"After the thunder's spoken, and
After the lightning bolt's been hurled
After the dream is broken, there'll
Still be love in the world."
Yeah, nothing'll stop love from being in the world. Nothing.