The official kickoff for the American summer was Memorial Day. Steaks are slapped on the barbecue, swimming pools are opened. The grass, which a couple of weeks ago was still hidden under a blanket of snow, has reasserted itself. America remembers its soldiers killed in action, preferably with a parade, which, surprisingly enough, is a festive event. And my new home town of Princeton, NJ, where I moved two years ago from Holland, is no exception. I take my place on Nassau Street, next to a couple of children. They’re carrying little flags that are being handed out for free a short distance away. The man on the sidewalk across from me is carrying a piece of cardboard with “Vietnam veteran” scratched onto it in pencil. He looks pretty seedy with his long, stringy hair and dirty clothes.