But when war is thrust upon you and you have no other option, then today is a good day to remember those who have fought and died for our country in all our wars, recognize and appreciate the brave men and women who serve today, and pay homage to the fallen heroes of our generation, and their families.
I come from a military family – my father and brother were both marine pilots (both retired now, and alive and well). So I’ve always been exposed to the military life at an early age. I remember meeting various friends of my dad who were WWII veterans (like Scotty who flew B-17s over Germany, and Sam who was a POW escapee in the Pacific), listening to their incredible stories, going to amazing airshows, and watching the B-52s and KC-137s flying overhead from nearly Fairchild Air Force Base growing up as a kid in Spokane, WA. And so Memorial Day, for me, has always meant a bit more to me than just fireworks and the Indy 500 (both of which are awesome).
And while no sane person should ever be a fan of war, I’ve always been fascinated by the machines of war – in particular, military aircraft. Perhaps it was a result of my childhood influences, or perhaps I was a pilot too in a past life. (I was apparently a 17th century Chinese warlord, a Filipino fisherman, and, most recently, a 1960’s race car driver who died in a fiery crash in other past lives, so anything is possible. Which also explains why I love fast cars, have an irrational fear of drowning, and am sometimes a dick. But I digress.)
No air show today for me this year, but I do get to spend some time with the family, burn some chicken on the barbecue, watch the SF Giants hopefully stick it to the Cardinals this afternoon, and enjoy all those other fun Memorial Day weekend activities, while raising a glass and toasting our troops.
I hope all of you have an equally wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day holiday!