Memorial Day Weekend.
Means so much to so many people.
In Bellingham it’s always about Ski To Sea, one of my favorite weekends of the year here in the corner of the Pacific Northwest! Rick has done the running leg of this relay a few times, we’ve both volunteered a few times, but the last three years we’ve joined our friend Debbie down in Fairhaven, where it all ends, and waited with her and her kids for John to bring his team home in the kayak. It’s always fun and always inspiring, and we love gathering at Boundary Bay Brewery for celebration and congratulation, hearing stories of each leg of the race.
no explanation necessary
I could claim that one of these was John, but it wasn’t. By the time John came in, I’d switched to video on my camera and let Debbie take the photographs! No worries, though, it was a fun day, gorgeous weather, all of Bellingham was out in force enjoying the sunshine, and of course, a fun time with our friends at BBB afterward!
That night and the next day, however, my brother Ken reminded many of us, myself most of all how close to home Memorial day is, after posting a couple of Memorial Day reminders and thanks, he posted this:
“I didn’t forget one other thanks to a military family member, just wanted to pick the right words: To my Uncle Dave Tate – you were my hero back when I was very (very) young, and you were sent to Vietnam. I remember all of us recording tapes to send to you, and hearing yours sent back. Though I know your homecoming was not even close to a hero’s welcome (you and your fellow comrades were not treated well I know) to us you were/are that hero- well done!!” Ken Tate
And my uncle’s response:
“Ken thanks for the thoughts on my Vietnam service. Was really surprised that anyone remembered I was actually a vet!! 40 years later, I still find myself thinking about the people and places of Vietnam and wonder why so many good folks on both sides had to die. Thanks again.”
I’ve never heard my uncle talk about it. I do remember gathering at Grandma and Grandpa’s in Boring, on Church Road, whenever a new cassette tape would arrive from Uncle Dave, and we would all sit quietly in the living room or if it was a smaller crowd, at the kitchen table and listen to his voice greeting us and sounding cheerful. We would then take turns talking into the cassette tape recorder, giving him our greetings, each in turn. I’ve often wondered what happened to those cassettes. Probably, we just recorded over each other. A shame.
Thanks for the reminder, Ken.
And thanks for your service, Dave. And Tim, and Leonard.
and the list goes on and on and on.