Memorial Day 2015

Early this morning, I shoved a very full garbage can out to the street and wondered if there would be a trash pickup today, since it was Memorial Day.

Reflecting on that, I made my mind up that I would observe it in the manner in which it was intended.  Looking up various locations for the observance on the internet, I chose Baton Rouge for partly selfish reasons.  Selfish reasons were mostly the chance to ride Boudreaux II up old River Road, a nice peaceful drive.

It was a sunny day yet cool in my short sleeves.  As I rode north up by the levee, disturbing the occasional egret and crane in the water filled ditches, I passed strings of bicyclists who motioned for me to pass. With hardly any motorized traffic and the cool wind in my face, I felt as if the world was mine alone.

With that in mind, I began to think of the blessing I had received over the years and how nothing is truly free.  I thanked Almighty God for what seemed to be the obvious things but also thought about how even though His Son had died for my salvation, there were others who had sacrificed their own lives so that I could ride down a road and enjoy life without recourse.

Other than one distant cousin that I barely knew, I had not known anyone who had given the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

The Bible tells us there will be wars and rumors of wars and the past couple of decades have proved this to be true.  Some wars seem justified and some don't but at the time, I suspect even those wars seemed to be justified.  Politics have a way of changing the relevancy of events to suit current passions.

Anyway, I arrived at the USS Kidd near the I-10 bridge in Baton Rouge where a small group of people were gathered to pay homage to those who had fallen.  A half dozen speakers including Gold Star family members and politicians gave short speeches amounting to 45 minutes of ceremony.

There was even a guy playing bagpipes ( I still don't understand the kilt thing) and what was a probably a Korean War veteran who played taps.  Thinking the taps rendition was the end of it, I began walking down the levee back toward my bike only to hear another speaker tap the microphone.

At least I did stop and bow my head when I heard someone offering a benediction.

Really, I thought taps always signaled the end to it all.

Of course, it's a big deal !

This past Saturday my brother, Ricky Albritton was graduated from La Tech University in Ruston, LA.  Some may shrug and say, "What's the big deal?...lots of people graduate every year."

In this day and time (I sound kinda ancient with that phrase) it's taken for granted that we'll be off to some university right out of high school where we gather up scholastic credentials and embark on our path to success in a chosen career.

I do not wish to diminish the achievements of those who graduated from college in a timely fashion; kudos to them, but sometimes the idyllic direction finds itself sidetracked by life's events and it just doesn't work out that way.

Even though Rick did not graduate in the traditional time frame, he had already proved his success time after time, being an Eagle Scout, a leader in his community, raised a family, established himself as businessman in his home town, a Master SCUBA Diver and a successful partner with Edward Jones Investments.  I think that his graduation after the fact simply emphasizes his determination and resolve.

It goes without saying that his wife Debbie has been instrumental in the many successes in his life and his whole family is successful.

The May23, 2015 graduation is simply a validation of all his accomplishments for the world to see and perhaps a moment for his friends and family to say, "Well done."

Congratulations Rick, I love you.