Memorial Day, 2011.

@postaday150; #postaday2011.

We slept in today till about 8 a.m. What a luxury! While we were lingering before our ride this morning, we heard the U.S. Air Force fighter jets over head. It was cloudy out here in Hawaii Kai, so we couldn’t see them. They were staging for the annual flyover the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl , where many military dead are buried or inurned. I used to see all kinds of military aircraft when I was in the USAF. It was a gift to live in the Mojave Desert, stationed at Edward’s AFB, where the test operations tossed just about everything into the air. I was a computer operator with an SCI clearance, and did all of my work in vaults. My military career never involved making the ultimate sacrifice. I humbly submit that we owe so much to those who have died for peace and freedom. I’d have to march many paces behind such warriors.

When I was in high school, I marched with the band as a member of the color guard. We had fun, we marched in parades up and down the Eastern Seaboard, we competed in Canada, Virginia Beach, and in various events. One thing our director, Mr. Donald Newell, instilled in us was a reverence for our military. Many, many times our parades involved solemn marches in military cemeteries. My friend Bryan Cooper and his drum mates kept cadence. All you could hear was the soft drumbeat and the synchronized footsteps of nearly 200 high school students who didn’t quite grasp the profound statement their collective display provided. It was as though our footsteps symbolized a single heart, beating for the many war dead whose bones were buried six feet below. Hands over our hearts. A poppy for a lapel. Tears.

Todays ride:
John joined me for my ride today. My goal was to chalk up three rides in three days over this holiday weekend. Yay for more than 75 miles! So glad to have done it, despite the persistent gusty winds. Bet they back off tomorrow. Here are our stats today, courtesy Garmin Connect:

Time: 01:30:55
Distance: 22.85 mi
Elevation Gain: 420 ft
Calories: 495 C
Avg Temperature: 88.7 °F
Time: 01:30:55
Moving Time: 01:19:53
Elapsed Time: 01:30:55
Avg Speed: 15.1 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 17.2 mph
Max Speed: 27.8 mph

Combined with a few swimming sessions at The Oahu Club and my renewed commitment to Weight Watchers through my online account, the exercise paid off. The jeans are a little loser, the Spandex looks a little better, the scale indicates a move in the lighter direction.



By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. I remember Marching in this parade and being struck by the vastness and quiet of the National Cemetery. Rows and rows of headstones of the heroes who died for you and me. The Viet Nam war was just over and my class mates and I were of draft age. Very eye opening!!

  2. Donald Newell was my grandfather. He was a vet of WWII (where he suffered grave injuries) and he was also a nutty, crazily intelligent and vibrant man. The best kind of grandpop a little girl could ask for. I’m touched to find his name here, all these years later, on the internet. Thank you for mentioning him in your Memorial Day post.

  3. Mahalo, Jenna. He was such a wonderful man to so many of us at Holy Cross. He looked out for me. I had a rough time with my parents and at school, and your grandfather wouldn’t let me slip into oblivion. He really made me feel valued.

  4. That is so good to hear! After his funeral, so many of his students sent us letters, telling us how he brought them back from the brink. He was known to show up at our house with what we called “stray kids that he took in.” I can’t tell you how nice it was to read his name and see him remembered. I’m glad you’re one of the many he took under his wing.

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