May 26, 2008

Memorial Day - Kansas City

Memorial Day is when we honor the men and women of the military who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. It was first enacted to honor the Union soldiers who died during the Civil War, but later after World War I, it included all casualties of any war or military action.

But I think it should include anyone who sacrifices much in the service of their fellow man. Because, no matter your politics, our brothers and sisters who die in battle are doing it for us. For example, that would be true of the police and the firefighters too. But why must it be only for those who perished during that service. I think we should honor those who dedicate any amount of time helping others, often without thanks or appreciation.

I honor those of the military, the police and the firefighters, but also those teachers who despite low pay and lack of support from much of society still showed up every day to teach our children to be the future adults we hope they could be, or the understaffed nurses that take care of us at our worst of times. But lets not stop there, lets include everyone who worked to help others. I honor the farmers that put food our tables and the factory workers who put clothes on our backs. And I also want to remember all those who volunteered both here in our own cities and neighborhoods and also such far flung places around the globe with the single thought of helping those in need. There are so many people who work to make our life simpler, helping make life more enjoyable to each of us, who give us the chance to live a life in freedom and happiness. But once they're gone, are they ever remembered for what they have done.

For my Memorial day I honor 'everyone' who served. I thank you and strive to do likewise for others too.

More thunderstorms last night and the clouds didn't seem to want to leave this morning. Let's keep our fingers crossed we have a repeat of yesterday with a sunny and warm afternoon. But looking at the local weather, it doesn't look like I'll be doing any biking today.

Finally got to finish some of those projects like the laptop case. These days I now carry a small book with a running list with me of the things I still need to do. Let's just hope I cross off more than I add at this point.

I decided to take the bulk of the candy and chocolate that I got at my birthday-going away party to the gang at Minsky's. They tell me this is the slowest day of the year for the restaurant but I'm glad they're there for customers like me. It's such a nice place to relax, sit back, have a bite to eat, and the staff are some of the nicest people you would ever meet.

The sun did eventually make a partial appearance, so I traded the car for the single-speed and headed over to sell my iPod Video to Zeb at Minsky's. I hadn't really used it much since I returned from Europe last year. Overall I just didn't need all that it offered. I can't decide if I should get an iPod Nano now or get an iPod Shuffle for the bike trip and maybe if the new iPod Nano comes out in September, get one of those for Mongolia. Zeb has very happy with his new 'toy'. [smile]

And this evening I talked with Ron Kessler, aka 'Lone Wolf', someone I knew from the Appalachian Trail who this year is walking across America to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to honor a close friend who has cancer. He started at Cape Henlopen State Park, DE on March 1st and he should be walking through Kansas City on Friday, May 30th. He's walked 1450 miles so far. I'm going to pick him up and take him over to my good friends, Geri and Mike Dishman, who offered to be Ron's trail angels by giving him a place to stay. You can read more about his trip at Road To The Cure.

PS: They had snow in Ulaanbaatar today.
(remember, that's where I will be teaching in September)

11 days and counting!