Here in the USA, it's Memorial Day. The temperature hasn't exceeded 10C (50F) since Friday and rain has fallen nearly continuously--sometimes in torrents, other times in a drizzle. The rain could stop and clouds could break by this afternoon, so some of the festivities associated with this holiday--nearly all of which were cancelled last year, when we were in the thick of the pandemic--might be staged. So might the some of the barbeques and family gatherings postponed last year.
|Photo by Rachel Smook. From Massbike.|
What I hope is that the people who weren't mourned, wheether they died in uniform or on a ventilator, will get the remembrances they deserve. While this day is intended as a remembrance of those who died while serving in the military, I think it's fitting to recall those (including seven people I knew) who perished as a result of a pandemic that has killed more people in this country than all of the armed conflicts in which we've been involved since World War I.
The Tour of Somerville was one of many Memorial Day events cancelled last year. This year, it's been moved to Labor Day (6 September). I think the race organizers chose that date because here in the US, Labor Day is seen as the unofficial end of summer, just as Memorial Day is seen as its beginning. The only other race cancellations came during World War II, which claimed the lives of its first two winners.
It just so happens that this Memorial Day is the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre, which I mentioned last week. On 31 May 2021, white mobs descended on Greenwood, the Tulsa community dubbed "The Black Wall Street." The city's police chief deputized hundreds of white citizens to join those mobs and commandeered gun shops to arm them. The following day, the Greenwood district was wiped off the face of the earth. It's estimated that 300 people died, but the true number may never be known.
However we choose to spend this day--I plan to take a bike ride later--it is intended as a memorial. I try to remember that.