Elmo and scores of other umbrellas line the route of the parade along South Main Street.
Waiting for Sylvania's Memorial Day parade to start and hiding from the rain underneath a broken American flag umbrella, Taleen Boman gave a lesson in important American symbols.
The 7-year-old North Royalton, Ohio, girl learned four in school: the bald eagle, Statue of Liberty, American flag, and the White House.
But, wait, there are more. To the list she would add the Lincoln Memorial and Liberty Bell. She can even tell you a few facts about each.
“It's in D.C., it's Abe Lincoln sitting on a big thing, it's on the back of a penny,” Taleen said about the Lincoln Memorial.
And the Liberty Bell?
“It cracked a long time ago, they tried to fix it but it broke again. And it's in Pennsylvania.”
The girl, with her sister Ani, 5, and parents, was at the parade during a visit to northwest Ohio to see grandma, she said.
An avid supporter of parades, Taleen said Monday's parade was very special because it was a chance to remember and honor members and veterans of the military.
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“It's pretty cool,” she said.
Her half brother, Ryan Boman, 24, is a Marine.
Samantha Gluza, 3, of Sylvania, along the parade route.
“He can even pick up my dad,” she said. “I like having someone in my family who is in the Marines. … It's kind of fun to have a couple people in my family who served our country. It just makes me feel happy.”
In total, several hundred people attended Sylvania's Memorial Day events, including a service at Toledo Memorial Park, the parade, and a second service at Veterans Memorial Field in Memorial Park.
The parade included, but was not limited to, marching bands from both Southview and Northview high schools, beauty queens, local politicians, police, and veterans.
More organizations participated in the parade this year than in any other, said Ken Katafias, operations manager for the Sylvania Recreation Corp., who led the organizing committee.
The annual events also provided teaching moments for some.
Natalie Anderson, 3, was looking for her grandpa and asking her grandmother, Deb Anderson, why the parade had stopped only feet in front of them.
Mrs. Anderson of Sylvania told the tot that wreaths were being thrown into the river to honor those who were lost at sea. And, she explained, next would come a few loud gunshots.
The three-round volley startled some children – including Natalie of Monclova who jumped in her folding lawn chair.
Soon after, a young man wearing an orange Southview Cougars sweatshirt strode by and handed the girl a small flag, which she happily waved.
Contact Taylor Dungjen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.
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