Shannon Conrad and her family have a family tradition that they’ve kept for 25 years. Every year on the Fourth of July the whole family goes to the local Fourth of July parade. The parade is a pretty big deal for the residents and community in Grass Lake, Michigan.
The parade draws thousands of participants and visitors each year. You’ll find horses, wagons, and antique tractors marching along the parade route with everyone else celebrating American Independence. The parade is very similar and holds tradition each year. But there was something extra special about the parade in 2013 for Conrad and her family.
“It is our family tradition and one we’ve been doing for 25 years! In the beginning of the parade marches the Color Guard, representing all branches of the military. Every year, we stand and place our right hand over our heart to show respect,” Conrad explained in the caption of a video of her family at the parade.
This year Conrad had a surprise in store for her parents. Her parents assumed that their two sons, an officer in the U.S. Army and an officer in the U.S. Navy, were deployed. Little did they know that they were a part of the parade waiting to surprise them.
“This year as the Color Guard marched, my brothers (one is an Officer in the US Army, and the other is an Officer in the US Navy) were in formation and in uniform. My parents were oblivious they were even in town, thinking they were at their respective bases,” Conrad wrote.
Conrad was ready with her camera to video her brothers march on by, catching their parents by total surprise. Mom is just all smiles and dad was picking up his granddaughter. Conrad had to remind him “Dad, Color Guard’s coming,” so he would pay attention. Mom was getting her camera ready to record too. Then, she spotted them. All of a sudden mom screams, “Oh my Gosh!” with her hands shaking.
“What are you guys doing here?” she is completely overwhelmed as she and dad hug their sons tight. The tears start flowing once the initial shock finally wears off. And at that point, she’s not letting her sons emerge from her grip saying, “You’re here! You’re actually here!”
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