Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day 2010

It is Veteran's Day.
Billie getting her Poppy on

The Courts were closed and so I had the day off. Veteran's Day doesn't seem to be as important of a Holiday as it was when I was growing up. I don't know if that's true. It's just how it seems to me. It has always been an important day for me.

I decided a good way to commemorate this Day would be to ride out to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

When I arrived at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery I put Billie, my SYM Symba, in second gear and just let her putt, putt, putt along. I allowed myself to stop when I felt something. This seemed more appropriate than stopping because I saw something.
After I took a photo at my first stop I turned around. My eyes came to rest on an interesting headstone.
Laid to rest before 9/11. Somehow that seemed to be important, but I'm not sure why.

I spent a long time just moving slowly around the grounds. Whenever I felt the urge to stop I would and look out over the acres of graves.

There were others doing what I was doing. And, there were those who were there obviously paying respects to a loved one. There was one scene I observed where two women, it looked like a mother and a daughter, were standing before a headstone holding hands. I thought of taking a picture, but decided it was a private moment and continued on.

This area surprised me. I suspect it shouldn't have but it did. It was a similar reaction to the first time I came across the Confederate Soldiers Memorial in Forest Park. Missouri was a Border State at the time of the American Civil War and things were complex here in a way they weren't in my native State of Michigan..

There is a special quiet about the grounds. I notice it every time I visit. Today, it seemed more palpable than I remembered it. This is the first time I've been here on a Veteran's Day. Perhaps the quiet was deeper simply because it is Autumn and the song birds have left for the Winter. Always before when I have visited it has been Spring or Summer. So, it could be the season, but I suspect it was something more.

I left the Cemetery and rode over into the St. Louis County Park that is adjacent.

There is a great scenic overlook of the Mississippi River.

I left the Park and went riding South. I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering. I was on roads with names like Baumgartner, Hageman, Meramec Bottoms, Christopher, and many many more. I didn't ride until the cows came home, but when I did arrive home the moon was there to welcome me.


  1. Yes, it was a very nice day.

    Thanks for noticing :)

  2. A nice tribute on Veteran's Day. I thought of riding down to our local cemetary, but it was nearly dark, so I didn't. I wish I'd thought of it earlier in the day. For me it seems the day has taken on more importance as I've gotten older. Can't really say why. While my dad was a Veteran, it wasn't something he ever talked about, and Veteran's Day was more or less just another day. So maybe it's that now we've had more wars, and more kids not coming home, kids who may have went to school with my kids...The day just has more importance.

  3. The day has taken on more importance for me as well. I was surprised at the number of people at the coffee shop who weren't aware it was Veteran's Day. Oh well, I'm grateful there are folks willing to serve and wished that there was no longer a reason for anyone to need serve.

    Thanks for the comment.

  4. Veterans Day does seem to have lost its meaning and I can only speculate that it is due to higher population, technology and the media. People are disconnected, busy with their computers and smart phones lost in their self centered little world. The media no longer shows soldiers, fathers, sons, brothers coming home from war. Combat is much less direct, soldiers are killing enemy soldiers from hundreds of miles away, no longer fighting in the trenches using hand to hand combat.
    Businesses no longer close to observe the holiday so many of us have to work, distancing us even further. Retailers advertise Veterans Day Sales and offer vets discounts and free meals, causing people see it as a celebration and dismiss it as just another holiday, even wishing others a Happy Veterans Day. I started several discussions on Thursday asking what is so happy about a somber occasion and why we would be happy about war, battle and fighting. It started arguments and battles in itself so I backed down.

    I went off on my own, found quiet place to reflect, took a moment of silence and said thank you.

  5. Troubadour: Great comment! I think your observation about the "disconnect" that is happening throughout our culture is spot on.

    And, I certainly find Veteran's Day to be a "somber occasion". For me it has increasingly became a day for yearning...yearning for a time when we will find less humanly costly ways to resolve conflicts. I am not hopeful, but still I yearn for such a time.

    Thanks for taking the time comment. Good stuff!