Today's ride was one with a purpose, a purpose greater than miles, smiles, fitness, speed, stress relief, training, or recovery.
We rode to spend some time recognizing some folks who made this country and my freedom to ride in it possible.
Here's where those folks are.
To the best of my knowledge, I'm not acquainted with or related to any one of these folks, but I owe them a debt of gratitude.
This major served in three wars. I'm sure she helped put wounded GI's back together physically and emotionally. She may have been a cyclist or may have helped a cyclist at some point in her long career.
This fellow was the recipient of a Purple Heart in Vietnam. He suffered some sort of wound in the service of his country. Perhaps the Major was a part of the team that treated his wounds.
It was interesting to see this marker. He was a merchant mariner during World War II. Though he didn't wear a government-issued uniform, he served in a vital role.
SFC Craft was a hero, having received the Medal of Honor. He served in two wars.
We'll never know the identity of this soldier, but he has a place of honor with the others. He gave everything that he had to give, and we need to remember that.
Some of these folks or their neighbors at their final resting place may have at one time or another been fellow cyclists. I suspect that at least a few out there shared our hobby with us. All of them served their country honorably. Some died in peace time, and others died horrific deaths during conflict.
They've made this place possible for us, and we shouldn't forget what they did.