Spring in Indiana means two things, school break and fairs. Huntington is in the midst of their annual Heritage days fair. It started Wednesday with an ice cream social and will end Sunday, when the rides and barkers cease to operate.
Each year, the fair is themed for some point in Huntington’s history. This year the theme is the Miami Nation that once owned, hunted and lived here. The Miami that still reside on the lands of their grandfathers, no longer have recognition by the BIA. But they are still proud of their heritage. Part of the yearly tradition is the voting in of the Flint Springs Tribe’s Chief.
Another big tradition, like elsewhere, is the local parade. Huntington’s started off with the thunder of Harley’s on the street and the Samaritan Medical Helicopter flying overhead. Then of course, were the standards of every parade. From local businesses and children’s programs, signs, old cars, and horses all converged upon the community. Our nation was represented by elected officials, hopefuls wanting to be elected, and the local emergency responders. Flags were flown by the veterans, scouts, local clubs, and the Indiana National Guard.
Recently Specialist Chad Clements, a casualty of the “War on Terror”, was laid to rest. In honor to this fallen hero, His personal vehicle and a truck with a commemoration poster were in the lineup. Just as the crowd had done with the veterans and the Guardsmen, the crowd stood and applauded the bravery of this young man.
After the parade, the crowd made its way to the midway and sellers’ market. The usual things were there. There was the smell of hot dogs and elephant ears, music blaring from the rides and the barkers calling for that lucky person to win prizes.
The crowning achievement of this year’s parade was the memorial service for the MIA/KIA from Huntington. On hand were the color guards of the local VFW, Legion, National Guard and the Patriot Riders from Huntington’s Post 7. The local head of Veteran’s Affairs gave a small speech to recognize the honor, duty and sacrifice of the men and women of the US Armed Forces of the past and present. The anthem was sung, the flag was raised, and two former World War II POW’s were acknowledged.
This type of fair and all that go with it remind those that attend, the freedom that US citizens love so dear, are not free but purchased in the blood of the brave.