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Sense of community

The big welcome for the Seattle Seahawks, who beat the highly favored Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey last Sunday, happened today with a victory parade through downtown Seattle.

I did not want to miss the excitement of attending for the first time a championship parade.  The last time Seattle had a victory parade was in 1979, the year the Supersonics won the NBA championship.  That was more than thirty years ago. 

So the waiting is finally over.

Like most of the 750,000 fans who lined along the parade route, I, together with my wife and brother-in-law, arrived early at the corner of 4th Avenue and Blanchard hoping to get a better view of the parade participants. To my surprise, what I saw was a large enthusiastic crowd on both sides of the parade route.

So we had to position ourselves behind the crowd on a slightly elevated ground.  Some had sought better views by climbing trees; others by watching from their condominium windows.  Few parents hoisted their young children on their shoulders.

On the side, the mood was festive. While waiting for the parade to start, the people continued to chant “Seahawks, Seahawks!” in rising crescendo and to the delight of the crowd.

Young and old alike came in full Seahawks regalia. Teen-age girls had their hair streaked with blue and green color. Pets were dressed in Seahawks color.  Many fans wore the Seahawks jersey with the name of the favorite player emblazoned on the back.  The Seahawk have become a source of pride that the fans are willing to spend to promote and support them.

The crowds were in a celebratory mood.  They were cheerful. They were having fun.  It was a sight to behold.

Even the weather cooperated.  Although it was freezing cold, it was sunny.  And this did not dampen the spirit of the crowd.

The success of the Seahawks has brought the people of Seattle together. People have identified themselves with what the team has accomplished.

In a spirit of unity, students at some Catholic schools got the day to cheer the Seahawks. Several principals in Seattle’s public schools allowed their students to attend the parade.  

As the parade passed by, the throng of jubilant fans screamed and waved at the players, calling their names.  The woman near me started shouting “I love you Baldwin and thank you” as the Humvee carrying the wide receivers passed us by.

I pulled out my cellphone and started taking pictures.  The chants of “Seahawks, Seahawks!” were contagious that I also started to shout “Seahawks, Seahawks!”

I felt that there was nothing better than to be a resident of Seattle at this moment and participate in this historic event.

To know that the mayor of Seattle and the governor of the state of Washington openly supported the Seahawks was inspiring.

To see my favorite player, Filipino-American Doug Baldwin, and teammate Jermaine Kearse in a joyful mood after being criticized as “appetizers” rather than main course receivers, was special.

To see where the entire Seahawks players are now, after being labelled in some circles in the media as a bunch of greenhorns was a tremendous source of relief and pride.

What I saw during the parade was everything I expected. It was about the fans.  It was about the players. It was about Seattle.  It was what being a community is all about.