Here we are, June 14th, Flag Day in the United States. This date is the “birthday” of our flag. Per the article on Flag Day in Wikipedia, below. And, as you see, below, it is also celebrated as the “birthday” of the creation of the United States Army. So, we get a two-fer today, and a pretty damn significant two-fer at that.
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on this date; Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.
All of that is well and good, but that’s not why I’m writing this article. In fact, to my wife and I, these events pale. Two years ago on this date, our very good friend and neighbor, Mark, passed away from kidney cancer. I did a quick commentary last year at the first anniversary of Mark’s passing. And, you know me, I’m not done commenting.
Another year has passed and, fortunately life has moved on. The elder daughter has graduated from college and is a nurse in a neurological ward/section(?) in a hospital, and the younger daughter is excelling at school as well. In conversations with Mark, he always played the “Dad” card, that ‘I’m proud of my girls because they are hard workers’. (Actually, at this point, I’m having difficulty working through this article..). As much as Americana values a solid work ethic, I want to point out that their daughters are pretty smart too. Mark would have been so damn proud of his “girls”.
There are two other consequences that I know are a result of Mark’s passing, and neither one of them good.
First, on weekends/evenings, Mark and I would meet in his/my driveway, or pending traffic conditions, in the middle of the street of our cul-de-sac. We would not only identify but solve a good many of the world’s problems. That hasn’t happened for two years and we’re all the poorer for it. Second, my golf game, although not bad, has not improved in two years. Mark was an excellent, passionate golfer, and was free to offer advice when asked. Since he was a better golfer than I, I never hesitated to ask for advice.
Finally, although I do get to the Gym a couple times a week, my wife reminds me (since I work on the computer a good bit) to “get out of the chair and work while standing”. Good advice that. The issue is that I tend to work while standing at the kitchen ‘peninsula’ and face across the street. Thus, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see their home and think about Mark.
OK, so what’s the takeaway here, other than this being a forum for my personal catharsis? Well, my advice is to get involved. The James has Pelotonia, and here in western NY we have Ride for Roswell. Get out there and make a difference.
I leave you with this.