In my surfing around the net, looking for some graphics to include in my Memorial Day 2012 post, I stumbled across this -
Photo by Kevin Borland
I was blown away. Why?
Back in 2009, I was still living in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Run For The Wall was coming through town on their annual ride to Washington DC for Rolling Thunder. I, along with other friends, always met these men and women at the Harley Davidson place to shake hands and say hello to familiar faces.
In 2009, it was the 40th anniversary of when a friend of mine's brother went missing in VietNam. Michael Burns is still listed as MIA along with a fellow soldier, Dennis Paul Neal. When I realized the significance of the number of years, I wondered if it would be possible to find a rider to take something with them to The Wall for me. I did and the picture is the result. I made the item in the middle - with their photos and pictures of the medals awarded to them.
I still have the bracelet I wore for many many years with Michael's name on it. I have pictures from the times I witnessed the Rolling Thunder events when I lived in DC. Each holds great memories for me. Stumbling across this picture by accident really got me. I remember meeting the rider taking my tribute with him. I broke down in tears because of his kindness. Thinking about it now makes me grateful that I've got tissues on my desk.
Take some time this weekend to think about those that gave the Ultimate Sacrifice. Think about the families they left behind. Think about the legacies they left. Think about what their sacrifices meant to this country.
I hope you'll fly your flag proudly this weekend.
I hope that, should you see a member of the military this weekend, you will proudly thank them for their service.
And, I hope, that you'll never forget Michael and Dennis.