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Friday, May 30, 2014

Memorial Day - Traditional

May 30, 2014

Before observances gave way to sham and artifice that accompany three day holidays... this day was spent by those who cared honoring those who no longer grace our presence with their physical form. Memorial Day was not exclusive to veterans in those days. As a young girl, I spent several Memorial Days with grandparents who laid wreaths on the graves of family members. I was taught the proper behavior for a cemetery. I was taught to be still for a moment... to dip my head in respect. At that time and place, I came to the knowledge that I had a history peopled with hard working, right living men and women and military men. I am all the better for receiving that revelation at such an early age. Respect for my roots, my elders, my paternal and maternal influences and my often hard-learned upbringing is part of what defines me. I have a deep and abiding respect for those who share their life experience with me. They are and will always be remembered.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Freedom's Not Free

Memorial Day

In honor of all Veterans who have served or are serving. We salute you!

Freedom's Not Free by The Rivoli Revue

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gather around their sacred remains

Memorial Weekend
Colorado USA

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude, -- the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan. -- General John A. Logan in his General Order No. 11 of May 5th, 1868, Decoration Day

Six thousand eight hundred flags were planted on the knoll at Veterans Plaza in Fort Collins, Colorado to honor soldiers who paid the ultimate price since the terrorist attacks on 911. A cluster of sixty eight hundred flags dotting a landscape is an awesome sight to behold. A patriot's heart will swell with pride and recognize it as a humble but fitting tribute just before a sobering mood settles in with the recognition that every single one of those flags stands for some husband or wife, son or daughter, niece or nephew - somebody's beloved someone who has given their all in service of this country and all its peoples. As beautiful as a field of flags may be - I cannot help but think how much more beautiful it would be to see those flags held high in the living, breathing hands of those who no longer walk among us.

For those who have served and are serving - our humble thanks.

Ride safe people - and more importantly - with humble, appreciative hearts - ride free.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day: A Sacred Charge

Memorial Day 2014
Colorado USA

Before we roll out this weekend - I am inclined to revisit some thoughts on Memorial Day...

I remind you government in no way, shape or fashion funds Memorial Day events. Politicians and bureaucrats do not fund Memorial Day flyovers or color guard participation. Memorial Day events are sponsored lock, stock and barrel by the American Taxpayer. Despite what you may hear -- politicians do not own this day by rule or writ or rhetoric. Grieving hearts and respectful sentiment own this day. People of all ages and from all walks of life will gather across the land in common purpose and reverence. Flags will wave. Bands will play. Bells will toll. The Star Spangled Banner will ring out across the land. Heads will dip in remembrance and respect as the names of the fallen echo across flag studded fields of honor.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude, -- the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
-- General John A. Logan in his General Order No. 11 of May 5th, 1868, Decoration Day

As freeborn children we should spend this day in celebration and do so out of respect for the sacrifices made by generations of soldiers who have paid and continue to pay the ultimate price on our behalf. We should celebrate with a proud eye on the flag and lend an attentive ear to the families and friends of those who have fallen in the service of our country. We should stand in silent support beside a friend who once again grapples with the fact that they made it home alive while others did not. Lest we forget, we should pay our respects to veterans past and present in our own families.

We cannot let ourselves be blind or deaf to the sacrifice of increasingly unsung valor. We cannot become so immured to the reality and violence of war that we fail to respect the soldier's reality - those brave souls who defend and protect and serve. We cannot harden our sensibilities so that we do not see the pain of sacrifice in a mother’s eye or the bewilderment in the expressions of widows and orphans. Let our hearts not be so jaded that we cannot feel the loss of a single one of our brave.

Let us celebrate being American. Let us raise our flags high... let us raise our hands in salute... let us raise our voices in patriotic tribute... let us raise our heads in pride of country. Let us teach our children an appreciation for the veteran elders among us and guide them on the path that preserves freedom and liberty, justice and independence for all time. Let us do these things in celebration of diversified unity. United We Stand is not merely an old catch phrase - it is a call to duty. It is our duty, one we should impart with diligence to younger generations. It is a duty we should demand of anyone standing on our free and bloodied soil.

As we celebrate Memorial Day like we do so many holidays in the good ol' USA -- with picnics and beer, car races and concerts, flags and fireworks, motorcycle rides and mountain drives, and heaven forbid an inordinate amount of commercialism, let us pause in the revelry with grateful hearts and rejoice that we live in the land of the free. Let us renew our allegiance to the ideal that is the United States of America.

Finally - let us look our living veterans in the eye, acknowledge their service – tip a hat, shake a hand, hug a neck and keep in mind what Samuel Adams once said, If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin. Every day we wake in a free and civilized country is a reason to be grateful for those who have done the hard work and we can take comfort in the fact that they would all do it again.

Here's a nod of respect: American Legion Riders, Combat Vets, Run for the Wall Riders and dozens of other organizations as well as countless individuals will roll over thousands of miles this weekend to various remembrance celebrations and memorials across this land. My 78 year old Dad is scheduled to attend several such events on Monday alone. I just want to say to all of you - Ride Safe. Ride Free. You make me proud.

Finally, Happy Memorial Day is a common expression at odds with itself. I cannot imagine felicity being an appropriate expression of regards on a day we have set aside to memorialize those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our well-being. If they could tell us what is in their hearts, I imagine those who paved the way for our enjoyment of a three day holiday would kindly indulge our flagrant abuse of it. They did not sacrifice to be memorialized with tears and pain. No, they sacrificed so we the people could continue the uninhibited pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

With that in mind, perhaps the highest tribute we can pay is to consider it our sacred charge to properly acknowledge every day as Memorial Day in the USA.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day Nezzie!

May 11, 2014

To the light, heart and brightest blessing of our family... Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

May 09, 2014
Colorado USA

Kudos Military Wives - you deserve recognition today and every day.

Source: Whitehouse.gov Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Standing for Gus

May 8, 2014

Texas - Frosty and Patriot Friends standing for friend, veteran and uncle of a fellow Legion Rider - Gus Lama today. Nice going American Legion Riders from Post 202 - Wichita Falls, TX!

American Legion Riders Post 202 Honor Guard and Support Crew

Frosty, American Legion Honor Guard Rider

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fifth of May in the USA Ride

May 5, 2014
Colorado USA

The Ride - Horsetooth Reservoir - just a short ride away from our front door.

Tim - Horsetooth Reservoir

Vik - Horsetooth Reservoir

Lunch at Derby Grille

A 75 mile BTGTWR (before Tim goes to work ride) on our traditional fifth of May in the USA ride...

We Celebrate the Fifth of May in the USA!

May 5, 2014
Colorado USA

Dissident Daughter shares a story. Reposting from last year...

Out of the busy-body blue I hear a question…

Actually, it is more like out of the mouth of ignorance…

Busy Body: You’re a Texan – do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? (pronounced: Cinco like sicko, de like be, Mayo like the salad dressing – oh me)

Now if this near stranger from somewhere that is the twilight zone in the bowels of the cul de sac knew me better, they would know this is the last question anyone who knows me well would ask me. Anyone who knows me well enough to call me by my first name would already know the answer.

So, reining in the cranky side of my nature opposed to impertinent questions, I answered…

Lil' Ol' American Me: I am a Texan, not a Mexican. You do realize that Cinco de Mayo is not a Texan or American holiday?

Busy Body: Oh. I thought it was an Independence Day for them in Texas.

Lil' Ol' American Me: No, it is not an Independence Day for them. Why would we celebrate a Mexican Independence Day in the USA or Texas?


Lil' Ol' American Me: Sigh! The fifth of may or cinco de mayo marks a battle Mexico won over the French in the 1860s that has evolved into a Mexican heritage celebration in the USA.

Busy Body: I see...

Lil' Ol' American Me: Thinking to myself - I seriously doubt it.

History lesson over - I left it at that.

I celebrate the 5th of May in the USA much like I do any other day I am fortunate enough to wake up in this country and appreciate what it means to be American and free. OK, well maybe I celebrate it by wearing a blatantly American t-shirt and if we find ourselves out on the Harley by flying the American flag in tandem.

I don’t have a problem with ethnic celebrations but I do find the celebration of such offensive:
  • if the flag of another country is not flown in the proper position below the flag of the United States…
  • if the national anthem of another country is not sung after or instead of the Star Spangled Banner…
  • if the pledge of allegiance is not said to Ol’ Glory and only Ol’ Glory…
  • if the celebrants disrespect the country whose ground they stand upon…
  • if the celebrants fail to acknowledge the rest of the population’s right not to give a hoot what they are celebrating…
  • if the celebration of another heritage tramples all over the rights of Americans wearing or displaying articles of American patriotism

Anything less than that amount of respect and consideration, then you are not an American – you are a poser. And that’s the long and short of the matter.

Party on, I say! But! If you want respect for your ethnicity, then I need respect for my ethnicity. Your right to dance in the street under another country’s banner is granted only by the law of this land and the tolerance of its citizenry.

Celebrating ethnic roots is not free license to disrespect the law of the land or the citizenry of the land. My Grandmother, born in the great state of Arkansas lived to be 101 years old. She was of Irish and Scottish descent, but if you asked her about her ethnic background – she would (after she skewed you with a look that indicated what an utterly stupid question you asked) answer: AMERICAN. That answer, works for me. I am of American ethnicity.

It does not matter what the nod and wink politicians say while they pander for votes – because their Americanism can be called into question on a daily if not hourly basis. Most politicians and heads of state do not understand that being a citizen of the United States of America has nothing to do with government or politics. Americanism is a state of being, a particularly hard-ass mentality that courageous men and women have bled for in the past and defend today. You either get that or you don't.

If you would be an American then BE ALL AMERICAN and learn to respect what that really means.

There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100% Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else. Theodore Roosevelt

If you are rolling today in the USA - I hope you doing it loud and proud and with the proper American accessories - I know you are - ride safe and carry on.