My father, who took this photo, served in the Army during WWII as a draftsman and instructor. He never left the States. He was acutely aware of the horrors of the war; he left a diary that was meant to record his last year of life. He could not stand the death and destruction and his part in it. If he couldn't change things, he would end it all.
In May 1949 he was married in this small town in northern NY; by the time this photo was taken he had a child. He took a series of photos (in color - a new thing then) of the parade in his new wife's hometown.
This photo reflects his ability to step back and distance himself from the war, let it march off into the distance, away from him. I'm sure he even chuckled at the fervor of the rag tag band in the pouring rain.
Referring to the Cultural Thoughts posting, my father was able to find his individual solution and solace. This individual solution is common to us all; we as social beings long for another warm body in the bed and to see new life, hoping to never have another war, hoping the new generation finds a better way.
And the cycle continues as we hope the same for our kids while in the midst of despair of the current war without end, explaining what the term "draft" means....