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Today, Memorial Day 2012, I will kick off the summer with my first long bike ride. My destination is a local winery that is hosting a fundraiser event for Wish Granters of Idaho, an organization that makes wishes come true for adults with a terminal illness. This will be my solo version of the initial Sideways by Bike tour that kicked off my blogging career and jump-started me into a new style of bicycling.

Along the way, I will pass many American flags and many fragrant backyard BBQ celebrations. As I pedal those 40 miles, I’ll be carrying with me the spirits of  millions of men and women who gave their lives so that I may live mine in peace, harmony, and with relative wealth—politics aside.

I will also think of the veterans who have returned from service in the US Armed Forces, most of whom carry with them a lifetime’s worth of scars, either inside or out or both. The wind against my face will dry the tears that come when I think of the ongoing, ever-present, sacrifices these often very young people have made.

And, I will be taking a break from the editing and proofreading of veteran, Robert Brownbridge’s memoir about his experiences in the Korean War during the first years of my own life. Thank you Bob. Thank you, each and every veteran of old and current wars. May we someday learn to solve our world-wide conflicts without the obscenity of war.