When many think of Memorial Day their minds automatically wander to thoughts of backyard BBQs, the opening weekend of the local swimming pool or sales in department stores. I think of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC that is often adorned with mementos from those who have served and their families.
Every year Washington D.C . welcomes tourists who visit the dozens of famous memorials that are sprinkled though-out this majestic city. The Vietnam Memorial, created by Maya Lin in 1982, is solemn, yet so architecturally fascinating. “The Wall” was veiled in controversy from the start. In fact, much of what was associated with the Vietnam War was controversial. This memorial, in particular, stands as a testimony to the bravery and sacrifice of the thousands who were drafted and served in this war. Many who did not return home to their loved ones or came back to less than a “hero’s welcome”. It was not the “best of times” in United States history.
Read about the history of the making of the Vietnam Memorial
What really intrigues me about Memorial Day are the thousands, and I mean THOUSANDS, of motorcyclists who come to Washington D.C. to pay their respects. The Rolling Thunder have a long history of motorcycling in to the nation’s capitol in order to show their support for veteran’s, especially their peers, the many “baby boomers” who served so valiantly. It gives a person pause to witness the huge presence of the Rolling Thunder as they bike down I-95 and literally roll through the District of Columbia . I am glad I have observed it – more than once.
So, this Memorial Day – please remember to enjoy your BBQ and family time. But, also remember that there are families who have sacrificed beyond measure so that we may live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.