I had a fine ride yesterday, a good long one. Almost no one driving, just me and Isabella dancing along (and a few other bikers, from time to time). I was contemplating peace and its pleasures in that easy way her purr allows, visits with my Marine son and other good pleasures, when I came around a bend and there on a flat piece of earth were about a hundred large American flags implanted in the soil of a cemetery. It took my breath away, the thing in itself and the surprise of it. A truly lovely moment of somber gratitude and I had to pull over for a bit, much too dangerous to ride with moist eyes. Later that night I watched parts of The Pacific
and my gut was reminded of the horror of war, that terrible waster of men, the brutish and primitive hatred, the guts spilling from once men and now no more. And of course there was the bravery, the incredible bravery. And then a different kind of gratitude for those who didn't make it out. I'll do it again today, it's the least I can do. In the meantime, here is Mac Owens
on Memorial Day from a few years ago. I will visit the old Marine later this week and tell him how grateful I am for his awful work, and that he made it through. And then when I come home I will hug my son before he goes back to Okinawa.