Memories? Well, yeah…

A lot of people maintain strong opinions, but I’m not sure how to respond to Memorial Day.

A good friend reminds his fellow Americans that there’s no “happy” in a Memorial Day greeting; that it is to be construed as a pensive remembrance. Another friend makes a cogent argument for cheerful remembrance, with a toast to the fallen enjoyed in the smiling company of the living.

Me? I don’t know. Our daughter is fluey and feverish. We’re negotiating for a puppy. The neighbor has cancer and could use some chicken soup. We’re planning another motorcycle trip.

For the remembrance, I’ll raise a glass tonight to Uncle Fred who served as a SeaBee in the Pacific… and to his brother, my grandpa, who stayed home from the war and drilled with the National Guard and raised his children and helped to build the Grand Coulee and John Day dams. This afternoon, I’ll plan our trip, swab Smalldaughter’s forehead with a cool cloth, then take a little ride out to Tahoma National Cemetery to visit a friend I never knew and to whom I owe — we owe — as much as anyone could owe anyone.

To stay balanced for as long as possible before I crash into the ditch for good: that’s the best way I know to honor the warriors who went before me; who built and defended the roads I am privileged to ride.

G-Dspeed is for the living, and memories are forever. Honor your memories today. Go make more.

Flag over a log house deck, at sunset in Montana



  1. Thank you, Jack.

    I will also smile and raise my glass with the living to honor the fallen. I may even be happy on Memorial Day. But I will find civil and even friendly ways to greet people other than “Happy Memorial Day” which to me is akin to saying “Happy Pearl Harbor Day” or “Happy September Eleventh.”

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