Today was Parade Day.
Oh, it has an official title, but the children and I love it as Parade Day. We've been there every year for 5 years, both as a RAF WAG, then with Rich away, then as a bereaved fiancee, then as a RAF WAG again, and this year as the girlfriend of a retired RAF lad. I will always go. The children will always come with me.
We used to be the only school there. Last year there was us, and another school. This year there were three schools. Well. I say there were three schools. There was also rain. Because there was rain, one of the schools, with bigger children than ours, were ushered off inside somewhere. Hah. They missed the flypast. Only 4 of mine missed the flypast, because they didn't have coats OR jumpers. Really? Who on earth sends their child to school on any day in what the She-Ex used to call "drippy old England" without at least a pacamac? Especially with the weather we have had recently? Really?
Anyway, the rain came just as the lads had formed up. We put coats on and carried on clapping and cheering. Then we saw the front line of the rain come surging across the market place where the lads were stood, without moving. Did we run? Nope. I told the children to brace themselves and stand firm. When the RAF ran, we would! It was over in under a minute and the blazing sun was out again. We took coats off, and watched the RAF lads steam gently as their wool jackets began to dry. They paraded, we clapped and cheered, and the world was a good place.
We walked back, and on the way we were stopped by the Radio people, who were chatty, and the children were chatty, and then by a lovely chap in uniform. He thanked the children for coming and was lovely with them. As we walked up, we asked an SAC and it turned out to be a very high up chap. I won't put it on here, clearly, but it was fantastic and the children were very impressed. They want to write to him. Poor chap...... :-) He asked why we were there and the children had all the right responses, and then he asked about the rain, and was told by the children "Greyfriars don't run until the RAF do!" which made him laugh!
We came back to school and played and had lunch and talked about why we go and what it means.
They will always go. It's not just about the Parade and the band and so on. It's about being there to show we support them, and we love them for who they are and what they do and why they do it.
In my not-so-humble-opinion, if a person can't be bothered to go to Parade, they shouldn't be in Englnad. After all, if you can't stand behind our Forces, feel free to stand in front........