Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ride to the Walls, A Pilgrimage

As you may have gathered from previous blogs, a few friends and I recently returned from a personal pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., to visit the various war and police memorials. We specifically targeted the Police Memorial Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Wall, the Korean War Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Iwa Jima Marine Corps Memorial and Arlington Cemetery.

Four motorcyclists set-out from Southern California and Arizona and a fifth joined us in D.C. for the return back West. In all, we took three weeks to make the reciprocal trans-continental crossings with four days in D.C. That was somewhere around 7,000 miles. I can’t really say for sure since my odometer went on the fritz, and my Harley is still in the shop.

We planned to use secondary highways and avoid the interstate highways as much as possible. As it turned out, we probably logged far more miles on interstates because we found ourselves outrunning and skirting around sever weather predictions consisting of heavy rain, wind, hail and tornadoes. We succeeded in avoiding the severe weather, but we did get rained on good and proper crossing W. Virginia and snowed upon as we unsuccessfully tried to cross the Rocky Mountains at Monarch Pass in Colorado. We journeyed east through the South and west through the center of the country witnessing the vastness and beauty of the United States. Everywhere was beautiful in its own right with one exception, New Orleans. What a dump, but that’s a story for another day.

Today is June 6th. Sixty-three years ago today, the Allied troops began Operation Overlord and went ashore in Normandy to begin the actual liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany. Ultimately, the war claimed many thousands of American lives and many more were wounded as Americans did what they considered to be their duty. The same can be said for Americans who paid the ultimate price in numerous other conflicts.

We need to display our gratitude for their sacrifices, otherwise how will our children learn of the cost of freedom both abroad and at home? And, how will they learn about those who paid the bill?

We each had the opportunity to demonstrate our gratitude on Memorial Day. What did you do? Whatever it was, we can do better. We must teach our children, or their children will have far less to inherit.

Children do learn by observing. My four year old granddaughter traveled with her mother and grandmother to join me in Washington, D.C. We took her to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where she witnessed the changing of the guard. Upon returning home, my granddaughter saw a depiction of the tomb on television and remarked to her mother that she had seen it on her trip. The bottom-line is that children are sponges, and they will absorb those things to which they are exposed. But, they won’t absorb that which is not demonstrated to them. What you do matters.

It is my privilege to pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., to make a personal effort to honor those who lost their lives. And, it is a privilege that I will exercise as many times as I can. It’s a good example that I am setting for my children and grandchildren. Pictured is the beret that I had made and wore on my trip.