BY MARY LEE CAROSA
9/11/2021 was my 21st Mendon Fireman’s Carnival; 20 years after that fateful day, many born after 11/22/1963 will remember, where they were when the towers fell. I never would have imagined on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I would be sitting on my front porch with a dog watching a parade marching by. All those prior years I didn’t have time to watch the parade because I was making pizza for my guests, but not this year. This year was different.
As I saw and heard the spectators on my front lawn, at the last minute I decided to take my canine companion, Bogey, and sit on the front porch to watch the event unfolding right outside my doorstep. As we got situated, the procession began with the American Flag, (it was huge!) outstretched with members of the community on either side. It was such a beautiful sight seeing the Red, White, and Blue and I felt a lump in my throat. Well as soon as I heard the bagpipes playing as the flag passed, tears started flowing as the chills running down my spine, gripped me.
‘Really?’ I asked myself. ‘Are you getting emotional over this?’
As soon as I posed the question to myself it came to me, like cold bucket of water being dump over my head. For 18 months we have been couped up and this is the first parade I watched in 21 years of living across the street from this tradition. An American tradition that is reminiscent of home movies from the 50’s and 60’s.
Immediately I flash back to 1995 when I moved back to Rochester ironically on the Mendon carnival weekend. You see I attended the carnival and watched the parade that year as my family was riding in a processional car. I stood across the street watching them exactly where I was sitting on my porch in 2021. Little did I know in 1995, 5 years later that field I was standing across from which was being used as a parking lot, would be my property and house, built by my late brother Kenny. Oh and fun fact trivia for you Mendonites, I purchased the land from Howard Havens.
What a wonderful man and his wife so sweet. He and my brother Kenny had a great rapport; how l miss Howard driving around in his cart. I miss Kenny too. I digress….memories……
This Back to the Future moment immediately leads me to the revelation:
After all this social distancing, the group of people in my front yard I so welcomed. The best part is I saw everyone’s full face. The kids anxiously awaiting the parade, their squeals of delight as they were playfully running around. Every band that played filled me with such joy, I wanted to go in my yard barefoot and dance with Bogey (my dog). Heck I would even dance with the kids! Of course my dancing shoes stayed put on the porch with Bogey, who was more interested in the chipmunk running feverishly away from him.
The tears I shed during the parade took me by surprise. I always knew this community was wonderful but today I felt the love! I never was more proud to be an American today and most of all never more proud to be a member of this community for 21 1/2 years. Thank you to Mendon Fire Department for always doing an upstanding job with this event. You are out every morning making sure all garbage is disposed of and monitoring so there is no disruption to residents. Thanks to community members who are respectful and supportive. I am so glad I made the decision to make my home in this community.