This amazing future world of the 21st century is obviously quite fond of parades. I discovered this phenomenon last weekend, when I happened upon a centennial celebration in a place called Leominster, MA., which officially became a city a mere 100 years ago. (Compared to other towns I’ve known, like Boston and Philadelphia, Leominster is still a babe compared to its more long-lived cousins).
The parade down Main Street featured marchers, bands, a wide variety of siren-blaring emergency vehicles (it warms my heart to realize that I started the first volunteer fire department in Philadelphia in 1736, only 279 years ago), floats, mariachi musicians, candy-throwers, zumba dancers, clowns, political representatives, bagpipers, beauty contest winners, and my favorite, the colonial soldiers and fife and drum ensembles that looked just like they stepped right out of my own time, the 1700s. (Do you suppose they might be time travelers, too?)
A few of these colonials even favored the crowd with demonstrations of their primitive firepower, stopping the line of march every so often to fire off a round of gunpowder — to show how we did it in the real “good old days.”
One thing about this exhibition that was somewhat true-to-life was the order by the commanding officer to immediately reload upon firing their volley, that is, to refill their weapons as they marched, which is exactly what colonial militia were required to do when they were in the heat of battle. None of these 18th century soldiers had the luxury of relying on large magazine clips of bullets, or these inventions you call “semi-automatic weapons.”
If you’d like a sample of the area’s finest fife and drum performances, as exhibited in this Leominster centennial celebration, be sure to watch the Youtube video montage whose link is contained in this blog article. Just click here to see it.
Happy Birthday, Leominster, MA!
Your humble servant,
Writer, diplomat, scientist, philanthropist, printer, inventor, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America...and a time traveler, too!