Band decision reveals misplaced priorities
To the editor:
Memorial Day is the one day each year we gather to pay respect to the men and women who wore our nation's uniform and perished in defense of our freedom. Memorial Day should bring us to reflect that freedom comes with a high price; the loss of precious life. Memorial Day brings us together, as a community, to honor our fallen heroes and to say "thank you."
I share these thoughts in response to the notice regarding the non-participation of the Lenox Memorial High School band in both the Lenox Dale and Lenox Memorial Day events this year. The reasons cited in this announcement were conflicting sporting events, family obligations, weather and poor scheduling, to name a few. Promises are being made this year that this "sacred" event will not be under-prioritzed or overlooked next year.
I read this notice in disbelief. Disbelief that the town I love, a town that sent citizens to battle in every one of America's conflicts including the Revolutionary War, could support this decision and a high school music program with such upsetting priorities. Just imagine where we would be today of one of our fallen soldiers of yesterday chose a track meet or a family function over our security.
Lack of time to adequately prepare was the justification for this decision. That is insulting. The parade routes are short. No one expected a concert, just a couple of patriotic marches to spur us forward to a ceremony of remembrance.
A heartfelt thank you to the group of volunteers from the middle school band who will be participating. These sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders got it right. This is the one day a year that red, white and blue should take priority over maroon and gold.
Marie T. Field, Lenox The writer is a brigadier general (retired), USAF.