Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Long Last Look

For all of the families of all of the men and women who have given their lives in the service of this country, one post-Memorial Day weekend "thank you" from a man who has never been called upon to serve and who is candid enough to admit that I have reservations about how much good I would do if I were.  My goal for the next 365 is to not remember until I am staring squarely at Memorial Day on the calendar to say  thanks to you and your loved ones for a sacrifice that cannot ever be repaid.

Last year I spent Memorial Day in Colorado with Rob.  We ran together in the 2010 edition of the Bolder Boulder - America's coolest 10K race.  Neither of us participated this year.  My absence from the event did not dilute my interest in it.  And if you are looking for proof that on this Memorial Day, things just fit together the way they are supposed to, then look no further than the finish line of the 2011 Bolder Boulder.  This year's race was the 33rd edition.  Approximately fifty-eight minutes or so after she started, Mieszka Laczek Johnson crossed the finish line on the floor of Folsom Field.  She is thirty-four years old.  She is a CU grad.  And, in a race run annually on Memorial Day, she is an Army veteran.  She was injured while serving in Iraq.  In Monday's race, she ran with a photo of eight of her fellow veterans on her back - eight fallen brothers who were killed in action in Iraq.  Other than finishing with a considerably better time than I did last year, what was significant about Johnson's finish?  She was the one millionth finisher in the history of the Bolder Boulder.  A CU grad and a veteran - who by the way had to re-learn how to walk after being injured herself in Iraq - made a bit of history on Memorial Day morning. 

This year, Margaret and I spent Memorial Day together.  Along with Suz and our friend Carolyn, we spent a bit of Monday watching the Memorial Day Parade here 'NTSG pass right by our front door.  I have a lot of fun at my adopted hometown's expense but not about this.  America is - at its core - an amalgam of towns of varying sizes.  Jefferson's dream of a nation of agrarian farmers did not see the light of the 21st Century but nevertheless, "somewhere back there in the dust - that same small town in each of us."  

And if you wanted to make an argument that is how it should be......from this corner you shall get no quarrel.  And I do not suspect any person in Boulder will debate the point with you either.

-AK

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