saturday, june 14, 2014
throughout our travels, we have learned many lessons. an important one is to pay attention to your surroundings and to ask questions. locals are always willing to talk about their home, for you never know where that might lead. today, it would lead us into downtown hamilton where four military regiments and artillery led by the military band would celebrate bermuda's chosen day (usually one of the first three saturday's in june) to honor her majesty's birthday. the dignitaries arrived by escort and the governor, the honorable george ferguson and his wife, arrived by horse drawn carriage. once he inspected the troops and issued a 'carry on', the symbolic arrival of the queen was portrayed by the raising of her 'standard'(flag) and the band playing the full 12 bars of the national anthem, god save the queen. the culmination of the ceremony was the royal salute of alternating six canon blasts followed by rifle fire, "the highest tradition offered to us."
as the onlookers dispersed, we realized that few locals lined the streets. those that were there were older residents, more accustomed to some of these long-standing rituals. most were media and tourists with cameras focused on the pomp and ceremony. at 10:30 in the morning, the heat rose to about 80 degrees, warm enough to cause an older gentlemen standing behind us to faint. the military was there in an instant.