Not all Morenci residents have made the transition from Memorial Day parade to Memorial Day procession. When kids are spotted at the curb with bags to collect candy, it’s obvious that the old concept lives on.
We’ve read that the traditional observance of Memorial Day is described as a solemn time to reflect on those who died in service to their country. We’re not sure when and how it evolved into a show of fire trucks, go-karts, golf carts and candy-throwing, but that’s now of the past in Morenci. Local Legion members decided three years ago to return to a more somber observance directed toward remembering. Traditional parades will continue to be a part of the Town and Country Festival, but they won’t be seen here on Memorial Day.
Eventually people will no longer remark about how the parade was “nothing at all.” We fear that the “nothing” parade might lead to fewer and fewer people at the curb to watch the veterans pass by, but we hope the turnout remains—and grows.
The best way for residents of the city to observe the holiday is to join in the parade. As the veterans pass by, get up off the curb and walk or drive behind them to the cemetery. Join the “remembrance march” to Oak Grove and honor the dead.