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  • Carroll Devine

Parade for the Love of It

Everybody loves a parade, and in Louisiana during Mardi Gras season, there’s a whole lotta lovin’ going on. The love shows itself in so many ways... the artistry, craftsmanship, and imagination of the people who develop parade themes and create the floats. the many hundreds of men and women who spend many thousands of dollars to join carnival ‘krewes’ and ride on the floats, have costumes made, and buy mountains of beads and trinkets to toss freely to spectators with outstretched arms and “Hey, throw-me-something-Mister” calls.

– all for the Love of having a good time and helping others do the same.

And in some parades you might also see signs of a different kind of love… the special new float that was in the February 23 parade of Dionysus in Slidell Louisiana designed to honor U.S. service personnel wounded in action. A symbolic soldier sits at its bow. The float was designed to allow wheelchairs to be situated next to its sides so the riders who used them could be close to the crowds.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of the non-profit organization called the Military Advocacy Project of Louisiana, these service personnel “krewe” members rode for free. All the beads the riders threw had been donated by previous parade-goers wanting to give something back to these wounded heroes – proving that love really is recyclable. In case there’s still any doubt, picture the spectator who stood near the float as it stopped and played for the heroes the National Anthem on his trumpet.

This wounded heroes float will appear in the parade of Selene in Slidell on February 28.

MAP of LA is a Military Advocacy 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization assisting our Veterans and Active Duty Military with PTSD, TBI and suicide prevention.

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