Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010: The Bivouac Of The Dead

Hardcore bikers will tell you that riding is about freedom. If so, then we all need to take a few moments today to give thanks to the people in our armed forces who gave their lives for our freedom. It started with the first Minuteman downed by a musket ball at the battle of Lexington in 1775, and it’s been that way through more than 235 years of standing up for what’s right, and standing up for our rights.

I took the accompanying photos of the Black Hills National Cemetery during last year’s Sturgis Black Hills Rally. The cemetery is located right off Interstate 90, only a few miles east of Sturgis, and it’s the final resting place for many former members of our armed forces. But it amazes me just how many flag-toting Harley riders will motor right past it throughout the week, never stopping to pay tribute to the men and women who are buried there.

The photo of the American flags was taken at the Buffalo Chip, one of the new mega-campgrounds that have evolved in the Black Hills to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of bikers who exercise their freedom to ride once a year to attend the rally. The flag next to the Chip sign was one of the largest I’ve ever seen.

So here’s giving thanks to the fallen soldiers that T.S. Eliot honored in his poem “The Hollow Men.” As for the rest of us, enjoy your Memorial Day, and enjoy your freedom. –Dain Gingerelli

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