Every year, he marched in or organized the parade as either a member of our school band, chief of our local fire department or as President of our Chamber of Commerce.
At my brother's funeral mass, I gave his words of remembrance (eulogy) and one of the many, many stories I told is one that took place at last year's parade:
My brother was riding in one of the cars on the parade route when he noticed an elderly veteran standing in the crowd. He stopped the car, walked over to this veteran and said to him, "No veteran in this town is going to stand on the sidelines and watch a parade. They are going to ride in it." He then led this veteran into the car and continued on the parade route.
I have met countless people who have retold story after story of my brother's selfless acts of kindness and how he had changed their lives for the better; all without public recognition or asking for anything in return. He made a habit of everyday making it his personal mission to serve his community come what may in order to provide a safer, more comfortable place for all of us to live and raise our families, despite the time and energy it took away from his own life.
So here's to you my dear brother.
You are at peace now.
You are with mommy and I love you.