Band was missing in Amsterdam

To the editor:

When I was a lot younger, Memorial Day was something I remember with great pride and sorrow.

Pride, because I would dress in my baseball or Boy Scout uniform and march in the parade. We would all honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

As I looked at the veterans, I felt great sorrow. With every beat of the national anthem, it seemed as if their hearts melted into one and their hearts began to beat as one. No matter what branch, war or action – they were one. Each one knowing and seeing things they would never wish anyone to ever experience.

My grandfather came home from the war scarred – scars anyone could see physically. But there were scars only a few would ever see. His guilt was because he lived and some of his buddies didn’t, and the atrocities he saw and had to do to save others and himself. There was the fear in his eyes that God would never forgive him for the things he had to do.

This Memorial Day was different for our little town. We had our parade, but the Edison High School band wasn’t in it. I asked why and one of the veterans informed me that the school wanted to be paid to attend. I pondered why. Haven’t they paid in full already? The sacrifices they made for our freedoms have more than paid. It’s more than anyone of us could ever repay.

Charge more at the games, concerts and shows, but our veterans (in my opinion) have already paid in full. They have past and present alumni who came back scarred and are coming back from the current war scarred.

These same veterans will vote and I know they will remember this decision very well. I believe an apology is in order for our veterans, not just our town’s veterans, but all veterans effected by this egregious decision.

I am disappointed at the lack of patriotism.

Martin L. McCallister Sr.