OUR OWN FAMILY HERO!
This is Frank Leland Nikolaus. He served as a Staff Sergeant in the Army during World War II. He loves to tell stories about his time in the services but is also careful of what he tells to whom. My favorite is when he talks about being the Mormon boy who was in charge of rationing the alcohol. He quickly became a a new friend to all. But for all of you that know Grandpa....it didn't help them out a bit :) We love you Grandpa and are so thankful to you for the sacrifices that you made for your/our Country and family.
The Phoenix Veterans Day Parade is one of the 4th largest in the Country. I have been in more parades than I can count but had not realized that my Morgan had not even seen one. (at least one that she was old enough to remember) Fortunately her 4th Grade Recorder Marching Band, got to go to and march in this parade.I could not pass up the opportunity to experience both the largest parade I had ever been a part of nor her 1st. We met at the school at 7:30. There were 35 4th graders, I think 12 cheerleaders (much older) and roughly 10 adults. These are a few of Morgan's friends. Allot of her friends are boys but she didn't want pictures with them LOL.
We got on the bus and left a little after 8:00. This is Asia, Morg and India (yes, they are sisters, not twins yet in the same grade??). We had to go clear over to 7th and Indian School in Phoenix (about 45 min to 1 hour).
They had all of the marching bands meet in a field by a school and line up to be judged. We waited around and stood in line for potty breaks (Morg and her friends wouldn't go in until I gave them each a Wet One and showed them that I had sanitizer for when they came out LOL) for close to an hour. They got to listen to a Veteran play the Bagpipes. He played about 4 patriotic songs and the field was completely silent. All of the other bands that we were with were High Schools. We found out that we were the ONLY elementary band in the parade. That was great because we get a trophy for being the best :) :)We finally got in line, we were #35. As we neared the street, we ended up waiting on an access road for another 45 min. The kids were getting hot and tired although only the cheerleaders complained :( At least we did get close enough to see some of the parade while we were waiting. That made it much easier.35. MOUNTAIN VISTA 4th to 8th GRADER RECORDER MARCHING BAND: This group is playing their recorders for the first time in the VA Veterans Day Parade. This is how it reads in the program.
The crowd was amazing. I never imagined that many people in a 2 mile long parade. They all loved the kids and I could hear allot of the comments as we passed by. They thought they were "so cute" and "they couldn't be over 8" (that upset Morg hehe) and of course "goodness they are playing recorders, I used to play that". It was fun to see and hear how great they thought our kids were. AND THEY ARE. Although I was rude to 1 teenager as she booed us, I simply walked very close to her and told her to "Shut up or GO HOME" you all know me and so you can imagine how sweetly I said it :)
I loved seeing all of the flags and posters along the way, along with all of the military personnel with their families and in uniform. Everyone there were so proud of and thankful for our Vets.
Being #35 out of 93, we only got to see some of the entries. The kids of course LOVED all the soldiers and the Red Cross truck and they all wanted to know how those tiny horses could pull those "BIG OLD MEN". They also really enjoyed it when we would tell everyone to look out for the horse poop on the road and 2 of the cheerleaders stepped in it BOTH TIMES.
Here is part of THE song that they played. You may have to look to the right to see my girl because as we all know, I cannot walk, record, think AND pay attention all at once. So Timothy?? is the star of my video....but the beauty is on the right.
Prior to this, my sister Jill and I had discussed taking recorders and harmonicas around caroling when we go up for Christmas:) :) I have since determined that my mom would like her neighbors to like her even after the holidays LOL. :( :( j/k I actually loved it.
All in all, we had a great time. Morgan did not show it but said that when we first got there and started out....she was VERY scarred. So for her to hide it as well as she did, I am very proud. And if you cannot tell by the video or pics, she was a line leader. She did a great job keeping the 8 or 9 kids behind her in line. She continues to amaze me.
As you all know....this was very hard for her, she is so shy. But she loved it and more importantly THEY, THE VETERANS loved it.
HAPPY VETERANS DAY! THANK YOU TO ALL WHO SERVED AND WHO ARE NOW SERVING TO PROTECT AND HONOR OUR GREAT NATION!