Temporary Delay in NFR
For the 3 rd time in 8 days I had some health issues. They are minor but I have returned to California to see my doctors to see what they think. I spent a great deal of thought before making this decision as it wasn’t an easy one.
I will post an overview of the NFR to date along with some info about the physical portion of the ride in a day or two — too tired tonight.
Memorial — Bismark, ND
Back on the road after an extra day off for some much needed rest.
The Bismark Memorial is located aboard the Capitol Grounds and very easy to find. Its a combined Memorial — WWI thru present and consists of panels of the heroes broken down by war — ending with current conflict with, sadly, an open ending date.
The panels, labeled by war, are surrounded by columns that are holding up the cube and the dome. The whole display is open to the outside and is set in a tree filled expanse off to the side of the Capitol. No matter which way you look, you see open areas full of trees — I believe it gives the sense of freedom. There is a bronze globe (of the world) in the center. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the sun shins on the globe. Another piece of real planning, thought and respect.
There were 4 people there when I visited but only one was a vet. He said that he comes there once a month to visit his brothers. We talked a little and found that we were “in country” at the same time (me on my second tour, his only tour). His unit was about 4 miles from mine (Army) but we likely never crossed paths. I’m not that up on Army units but I believe he was with engineers (building and blowing up). Compared notes and thoughts, discussed others in our respective units, relaxed a little, and then went our own ways. This kind of meet up makes the trip, for me, more worthwhile.
Memorial — St Paul, Mn
One of the Memorials tide into the Capitol — located on the Capitol grounds — a fairly large area — the Capitol grounds include more than one government building.. The Capitol itself is under going a major renovation so streets are a little blocked off but also making it difficult to find anything.
That said — the Vietnam Memorial is located in an area featuring all the other memorials but they each are very different and equally impressive — Minnesota should be proud!
Th ‘Nam Memorial itself is a wall of names but the words across the top give a very precise and specific message — “We were young. We have died. Remember Us”. A hell of a lot of a lot of meaning in a few words. And with all the names right below. A fitting tribute to a generation that was all but forgotten — maybe now they’ll be remembered.
Off to the side, almost separate from everything else, stands a lone soldier, dressed as we did in Vietnam, with hands hanging down, palms outward — you can add your own impression of what he’s saying. My impression — “here WE are, where are YOU”.
There is another Memorial close by for the Baatan Death March — with the words “Despair & Hope”. This should could be for all veterans and future warriors. And we should to that list — Blue Star and Gold Star Families. We often forget that more than the warriors are affected by these “events”.
I’ve canceled the Alaska leg (for this year). That leg alone, to see the one Memorial in Alaska, would cost the same as seeing 10. I can’t justify that.
The schedule will be completely changed this week. The bulk of the change will be just the dates — the route will stay the same.
Please watch the schedule page for the changes.