Spending an hour singing is quite strenous on the vocal chords, I found out on Monday. Prior to the Memorial Day Parade in Babylon Village, the Babylon United Methodist Church, which is along the parade route, threw open its sanctuary doors and held a spirited sing-a-long, as it does every year.

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“You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” were all on the play list. The church organist, Neil O’Connell, segued seamlessly from one song to the next as the nearly 100 particpants, many dressed in red, white and blue instead of their usual church attire, called out song requests from the pews.

My voice was aching by the end, when we all then gathered outside to wave and applaud the passing veterans, fire department members and marching bands.