Today's parade celebrated people of many different wars, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to the one our troops are fighting now. While most of the entries were veterans ranging from WWII to Iraqi Freedom, some provided entertainment. The South Albany High School marching band played, and I wondered if they had given thought about the young man who graduated from SAHS a mere three years ago. Other schools marched, including Canby High School. Other entertainment came from The School of Rock from Corvallis and Ronald McDonald in his shoe car. Other guests included Miss Oregon USA, Miss Teen Oregon USA, Senator Ron Wyden, many troops and packs from Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Cub Scouts, and the Shriners. Many banners and flags were flown in today's parade, but the one that has stood the test of time from the very birth of this fine nation, the threat of division from the Civil War, and further tests of our resolve has been the one with seven red stripes, six white stripes, and fifty white stars amid a blue field. I'm proud to wave the flag that represents this great nation. May we remember that our freedom isn't free, and that it's not only our veterans that sacrifice so much, but their families as well. I don't need a parade to tell me that, but I'm proud to have participated in an event that celebrates our veterans to let them know that they aren't forgotten and neither are their families. Happy Veterans Day, everyone.