I grew up in North Highlands, the suburban town outside the gates of McClellan Air Force Base. It was never the nicest of areas, was never going to make any magazine's list of "best towns to live in", but it was home.
McClellan was closed by BRAC some time in the 90's and is now a business park. No one's going to confuse North Highlands with Beverly Hills, but the town looks nicer than I remember from my childhood--the houses are painted and the lawns watered and better maintained now. And for that I'm glad.
I went back to North Highlands this morning to watch the Memorial Day parade. My son marched in it as part of his high school JROTC program's color guard, and of course I had to go take video (he's the rifle bearer on the left side of the rank, next to the California flag). The judges awarded them 1st place in the parade in their category.
People from North Highlands and beyond lined the 1-mile route down Watt Avenue to watch the Ben Ali riders, beauty pageant winners, VFW officials, police and fire vehicles, and various military units, and so many others, march in a this parade dedicated to fallen service members.
May those service members rest in peace and honor.