Oorah, Hooah, Hooyah


Oorah, Hooah, Hooyah

The Amateur Parker’s “2023 Best Alternate Use of a Parking Lot” happened on Armed Forces Day in late May. Five acres of parking at my local mall were given over to equipment from all sections of the military including helicopters, boats, transport vehicles, giant guns, and a band. The USO served up hot dogs and soda, a veteran’s group reminded everyone that life after war comes with rewards and challenges, and a line of enthusiastic Marines competed on the chin-up bar.

This year’s demonstrations followed three years without Armed Forces Day ceremonies and events in my community, due to the pandemic. We missed the exhibits, parade, and flyovers, and felt the loss of an important annual tradition. I was thrilled to hear the festivities would be carried out again.

My grandpa, two uncles, father-in-law, and a cousin all served in the Armed Forces. I fly my flag on the Fourth of July and any other day that calls for it. Being patriotic, for me, means appreciating the sacrifices made on my behalf. It’s being aware of the ways my life would be different if these military entities did not exist. It’s also knowing I don’t fully understand the influences and circumstances involved in securing a country and furthering its interests in other parts of the world. 

What I understand is that I am protected by the Armed Forces, and I am grateful. The celebration of Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Space Force, and Marine Corps was is the best thing I’ve seen in a parking lot all year.

Article contributed by:
Melissa Bean Sterzick, Parking Today Contributor
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