Butterflies, the jitters, or whatever you call that feeling you have just before a public performance - do you remember the first time you felt it? Mine was just before a 4th-grade school play, where I had to dance the Virginia Reel - with a girl! Wherever you had your first taste of being in the public eye, surely you recall the building excitement that takes over.
That is what Nicholas DeGregorio of North Bellmore, New York was feeling as he arrived for the Memorial Day parade. He had joined the Newbridge Road Elementary School band just in time to learn a piece for the holiday. Sadly, when he showed up to proudly march down the street playing his shiny trumpet, the weather changed and left the 11-year-old at a canceled event.
Without missing a beat, the DeGregorio family decided to have their own celebration. They drove down the parade route and Nicholas blasted his patriotic song from the car windows. When they neared the school, the family stopped at a memorial that was decorated in honor of our veterans.
There, a woman approached and asked if the parade was still on. When she heard that it was not, she stated how disappointed her father would be. It seemed that Chris Lannacone, a disabled WWII veteran, was still on his way to participate in the festivities, unaware that they had been called off.
That's when young Nicholas showed his true colors and volunteered to play, even if only for an audience of one. As the notes of "You're A Grand Old Flag" rang out that cloudy day, there truly was a silver lining for both of these American heroes.
This kid has quite the forte for respect!
His town recognized his kindness and wished him well.