Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

I did no work today. Amazing. Rick got me out of the apartment early to attend the ceremonies at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, which is just around the corner from us. I have been living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for a long time now, and the Memorial Day events have grown from year to year. I can't help feeling that the country is on a course correction, which (to my mind anyway) is a good thing. Mayor Bloomberg gave a very good (and short) speech. The main speaker was Lincoln historian Harold Holzer. From him we learned that the first New Yorker to die in the Union cause was Elmer E. Ellsworth. Serving in the White House with Lincoln, he espied a Confederate flag across the Potomac, flying above the Marshall House Inn. He went there directly and toward the flag down, only to be shot by the inn's proprietor.

From there we biked down to the Battery and caught the ferry to Governors Island. I hate to be one of those people who talk about "how things used to be," but the truth is that, the first time we went to Governors with our bikes, hardly anyone was there. (Actually the first time I went there was in a kayak, with a group of paddlers from the Downtown Boathouse.) We had to wait an hour to get on the ferry. Nevertheless, it was fun to be there. So, we did Memorial Day in true American fashion.

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