Memorial Day

Memorial Day Graves and Flags

Actually now more like Memorial Weekend in the US where it has become a tradition for families to have large gatherings a bit like those on thanksgiving but for an entirely different reason.

Like Rememberence Day here in the UK and Anzac Day in the Antipodes it is a day that Americans celebrate their own heroes, originally just about those who fell in the Civil War it became like most of these days more about all the fallen not just those in one particular war or battle.

In many places it also extends to a general expression of memory for anyone whether they served in the military or not.

As far as I’m concerned what makes this year more memorable than others to me is the fact that the Indianapolis 500, one of the great motor sport events, run each year on the Sunday before Memorial Day, didn’t have it’s champion defending his title.

Dan Wheldon was a British racing driver who raced in his early years alongside Jenson Button but rather than like Jenson who moved towards Formula 1 he instead took the trip across the pond and competed in several circuit events in lower classes before reaching and excelling at IndyCar winning the aforementioned Indy 500 twice including last year. He was a sporting hero to many fans the world over including his adopted home of America.

Dan Wheldon Indy 500 2011

However in October last year, Dan lost his life racing in Las Vegas taking on a chalenge that with hindsight was madness – but in a way just like his armed forces compatriots, racing drivers are fearless when presented with challenge and adversity.

I can’t directly compare the two roles but what I can do on this Memorial Day is take a moment to remember that the world needs heroes of all types – people we can aspire to, people who make the world a better and more enjoyable place.


About Rob

If you want to know more about what goes on in the chemical soup that I call a brain then have a trawl through my blog where my life to a degree is unveiled. Enjoy my life - I'm trying to. Rob
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5 Responses to Memorial Day

  1. jmgoyder says:

    We don’t even know about this in Aussie – well I don’t – thank you!

    • Rob says:

      You’re welcome Julie. It doesn’t seem as publicised outside the states as for example Anzac Day but is absolutely massive over there. Events such as the Indy 500 run at this time every year and that race alone attracts 300,000 spectators all of whom are fully aware of the significance as often race cars are decked out in military sponsored regalia.

  2. Eleenie says:

    Hubby loves the Indy Racing League or is it IndyCar Series now? The Indy 500 is his “can’t miss” race of the year. Such a sad day when we lost Dan Weldon.

    • Rob says:

      Did he watch yesterday…on lap 98 (Number of Dan’s winning car) there was a shot of 1000’s of people donning white framed sunglasses in tribute to him – very moving and yet sort of poking fun at his ‘style’ at the same time, not that I knew him personally but judging from the interviews I saw with him, if he was still around I believe Dan would be laughing his head off. Always a great race to watch…I was totally spoilt yesterday with both the Monaco Grand Prix and The Indy500 on the same day – petrol head heaven.

      • Eleenie says:

        Oh dear, no he didn’t see it! He couldn’t get it on our satellite and the official download site won’t run fast enough on our internet speed here so he’s not a happy man. Oops, I didn’t realise until I spoke to him last night, he only saw the GP it would seem. It sounds like it was an emotional race and if Dan Wheldon was anything like Jensen then I’m sure he was laughing his head off!

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