Memorial Day, 2007

Weather: Cloudy, with threats of rain that never materialized.
Road Conditions: Dry, with light traffic. Lots of motorcycles on the Wisconsin side.

The Field of Honor in Zumbrota, Minnesota.

Memorial Day is always a tough one for me. On the plus-side, it is a three-day weekend, of which we have far too few in this country. But on the minus side, it is not a celebration, but rather the opposite: a collective mourning for those we have lost.

So, the poor working stiff gets Monday off, but they are compelled to go to the local cemetary or parade in order to pay homage to those who have fought and died in order to protect their “freedom”. At least, that’s the official line.

Of course, most of us don’t bother with all that sentiment. We are too busy going fishing or golfing or whatever else we use to distract ourselves from the fact that we no longer live in a “free country”. For the vast majority of Americans, this is just another Monday off.

On Tuesday, wage-slavery resumes, and nobody mentions our “fallen heroes” again until next year. I know, that sounds harsh, and I could go on for many paragraphs, but that’s not what this blog is about.

My new Vespa “Rose” and I avoided parades and ceremonies on Monday, in order to ramble the countryside, enjoying the freedom that those we honor have bought us with their lives. After living with Marines for a decade, I know that this is the way they would prefer we salute them:

Celebrate, dammit! Don’t mourn! We did this so you could be happy! Gather together, have a party, toast our bravery and our sacrifice. Make us proud…

Semper Fi, Brothers. I shed no tears for you. (Yeah, right…)

5 Responses to “Memorial Day, 2007”

  1. Bill Sommers Says:

    Well said.


  2. Sidewalk Dan Says:

    Semper Fi indeed brother.

    Sidewalk Dan out.

  3. Gary Charpentier Says:

    Thanks, guys. The tone of this piece was different from anything I’ve ever written here, but I had to write it. This past week it seemed as if the ghosts of my past had come back to haunt me, and I developed a terrible case of writer’s block.

    So I sat down last night with a cold PBR, and several others in ready reserve. With each fresh beer, I toasted a fallen comrade, and typed out the words each one whispered in my ear as they passed in review.

    It was a somewhat cathartic experience, and I think I’m good to go now. I’ve got a surprise for everybody on Sunday…

    Ride well,

  4. Steve Williams Says:

    Excellent post Gary. Memorial Day should be tough and raise questions. I’ve been working on one all week and just can’t get it right.

    Wage slavery is mind numbing. Is it any wonder that many don’t see the day as anything but a Monday off?

    Looking forward to the Sunday surprise.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  5. Harvey Binder Says:

    They would simply want us to Carry On.