Citizens of Bluesky were unfolding chairs and spreading blankets on the lawn at the senior center. A stage had been set up for the Memorial Day celebration. Promptly at ten o’clock, a little man in a World War Two uniform stood alone on the stage, a bugle in his hand. He lifted the bugle to his lips and began to play “Revelry.” Everyone stood up and remained quiet until he finished. As he took his seat on the stage, Walt walked to the microphone and said, “Color guard, present the colors.” With that, young men in uniform came forward carrying the American flag. After the singing of the national anthem, and the opening prayer, everyone was seated.
“I’d like to thank our bugler, Bobby Sims,” Walt said. “And our color guard from the high school ROTC, and Fr. Steve for the invocation. I would also like to thank all of you for coming here today for this special celebration.”
The program continued with speeches from the Mayor and other dignitaries. Then Walt invited family members to come forward and make presentations on behalf of loved ones who had passed away. The Handy Helpers watched as Gus walked up to the front with a picture and the flag he received when his son died in combat in Vietnam. Gus placed the flag and picture among the other memorials on the display table.
At last, Walt asked the Handy Helpers to come forward. They stepped up on the stage in order, forming an American flag. First were Logan and Chris, then Melissa, Next were Laura and Amber, followed by Spike. Beth Anne came last, using her walker. As she made her way down the center isle, the spectators rose to their feet, whistling and applauding. When she reached the front, Logan and Chris stepped down to lift her onto the stage.
“The Handy Helpers are going to lead us in patriotic songs. We’re hoping you will all join in.”
With that, the Handy Helpers began singing “God Bless America.” The citizens of Bluesky proudly joined them. At last, Bobby Sims came forward again to blow “Taps,” on his bugle, and the celebration came to an end.