I do like parades. There is always so much colour and pageantry at them. Growing up in Moose Jaw, we used to be known as the band capital of North America. Some 80 bands would march down the streets of our city. I was amazed at the colourful band uniforms. Every colour of the rainbow was represented. I enjoyed hearing the big brass tubas as they marched past. I loved the lilt of the piccolo. The big drums would echo in my chest as they were pounded ever so strongly.
Other parades I remember were things like the Canada Day parade where various community groups would show their love of the country. I remember watching on television the Rose Bowl parade from California. It would often be bitterly cold outside my house and I was amazed at all of the flowers used in that parade. I remember the Caribbana parade in Toronto which celebrated the city's vibrant West Indian community with it's bright colours and calypso music. And of course there were the pride parades in Toronto where one and a half million people crowded the street dancing to disco music and there were rainbows everywhere.
Yes I have been to more somber type parades. Marching for the lost citizens of Colombia who were victims of government annihilation programmes, marching for peace during the turbulent cold war times, marching to support the environment in this past spring's climate march, marching for justice on several Good Friday walks. Not all parades are celebrations- some have a great purpose.
But still I think parades and marches are wonderful. You bring diverse groups of people together, some with seemingly divergent points of view on many things, yet they come together for one purpose. Differences are put aside and the groups come to support an issue, or to celebrate, or to dance. Parades and marches help us to say yes we are diverse but we can be together. Yes we are different but together we can move forward.
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