Photo Friday: Memorial Day

No matter what’s happening in politics and who is in office, the people in my area always support their veterans and their service to the country. The VFW halls are very active, the towns and schools always observe Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and there are often services and flag ceremonies at parks and cemeteries in most towns.

I decided to take a motorcycle ride and visit a few places and take some photos, but unfortunately I missed most of the ceremonies. I didn’t realize flags are only flown half staff until noon on Memorial Day, so while towns put up extra flags, most had been removed by the time I arrived.

Metamora Memorial

The Honor Roll monument in Metamora, IL

The white crosses lining the path to the Honor Roll monument along Route 116 in Metamora, IL, were still in place, though. I crouched down at the curb to catch this photo. The Honor Roll lists the local soldiers who served in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, and also notes which of those soldiers were killed in action. Some of the names were familiar, most likely related to some of the students who attend the schools I work for.

Next year I’ll have to get moving a little earlier, as there were more flags throughout the park when I first drove by. I should have stopped then, but I was on the way to meet my family for what was already a very late lunch and everyone was starving.

I visited Washington but I didn’t know where they set up their memorials, so I cruised from Metamora to Eureka. Their claim to fame is Eureka College, Ronald Reagan’s alma mater. The Boy Scout troop puts out flags along Main Street during the patriotic holidays, and there was a huge ceremony with a lot of flags int he old cemetery during Veterans Day last year. However, the county courthouse always flies the US Flag, the Illinois flag, and the POW/MIA flag out front near an old anti-aircraft gun display, so I stopped for a photo.

Anti-Aircraft Gun

A reminder of how our freedoms are won.

Though I missed out on the flag ceremonies, it was still a nice day for a ride and I enjoyed taking my own moment to observe the holiday.

Bonus: I learned my BlackRapid strap holds up just fine while riding the motorcycle. Just cowboying up and taking it up to 60mph was probably not the smartest idea, but hey, it’s a tough strap and worked like a champ. My stayed glued to my hip the whole ride.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

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