By Jay Zedak, NSP-Subaru Ambassador and NSP Board Member
Every Memorial Day for many years, I have attended the parade in Hudson, Ohio (population 25,000). When I was a child, I decorated and rode my bike (banana seat of course). As an adult, I proudly drove the fire engine or heavy rescue truck as a Lieutenant with the Hudson Fire Department. One year, I walked along side a display of houses I built for “Safety Town.” These are all wonderful memories and I am very proud of my town.
This year, I was able to make a new memory. On May 27, 2019 I had an experience as a Subaru ambassador I never expected. Always looking for events to attend with the NSP Subaru, I pondered the Hudson Memorial Day parade. Memorial Day honors those who served our country and I wanted to make sure it was appropriate to participate. After consulting with several people, I decided the history NSP has with the 10th Mountain Division — a light infantry division of the United States Army — would serve as an honorable connection to bring to the parade. Not to mention that some folks pointed out to me that Hudson is eight miles from our local ski area (Boston Mills/Brandywine/Alpine Valley) and some kids might be excited to see the car.
That the decision to please the kids was a good one was made apparent almost immediately as my wife (a sister NSP patroller) and I stood next to the NSP Subaru waiting in line for the parade to start, groups of kids (Boy Scouts, gymnasts, and baseball players) came over to look at the car, take pictures and get swag. We could see their faces light up and we were thrilled with our decision to bring the car to the parade. We couldn’t have dreamed of what would come next.
At 10 a.m. the parade participants started to slowly make our way through the parade route. At every turn we were surprised by cheers, thumbs up and call outs of thanks. “Way to go NSP!” and “We love the ski patrol!” and “Thanks for your service.” Here we were, attending this parade to honor veterans and expose the car to our community and WE felt humble and proud.
About halfway through the parade route I noticed a woman sitting in a lawn chair, foot elevated leg brace on. “Yea, Patrol!” she yelled loudly. “You guys helped me; I’ll be back!” she boasted proudly. Her husband was nodding and smiling at her side. “THANK YOU SO MUCH!” they both yelled in unison. I think my wife said it best in her comment on a social media post below. We felt honored and proud to represent the NSP, Veterans and our partnership with Subaru!