I am going to be away until late Sunday night, I will be making my annual pilgrimage to Colorado Springs, Colorado to attend the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Ceremony. In a profession like mine it is far too common to lose friends and I have lost many a friend whose names grace that long granite wall. It’s always a mix of emotions to attend such an event, there is the raucous parties that you can only find when a few thousand fire fighters get together in one place. Then there is the solemn ceremony, each name read aloud, each family presented a folded flag. This year yet another name I know will be going on the wall. Each year I go to Colorado and visit the wall and trace my fingers across the names I know and each year emotions I have buried rise to the surface.
This year like years past I will get to take part in the ceremony by playing with the throngs of other Pipers and Drummers who pay homage to our fallen in our own way…through the haunting tunes of bagpipes and drums. Last year was awe inspiring as over 700 of us lined up and marched in playing our tunes in unison in the shadows of the great Rocky Mountains. We are honoring the tradition of Pipes and Drums at a Fire Fighters funeral and we are honoring our fallen.
I am also taking the weekend off from cycling; there will simply not be enough time. Between all day band rehearsal on Friday and the all day ceremony on Saturday that leaves everyone drained both physically and mentally I am going to not even attempt a ride. As much as I would love to partake in all of the offerings of Colorado I am going to decline at this time. I have some deep concerns about eating while I am there. Long rehearsals and long ceremonies lend themselves to eating on the fly grabbing what you can where you can. It is going to be a real test of self control. I will provide pics and a full report on my return next week. I am all set for the airport and the flight, armed with my Ipod and a book that CycleChef recommended. Which reminds me, if you are looking for Christmas gift ideas for me one of these would be outstanding! I would totally use the ever loving crap out of it I promise. I will also catch you up next week on the latest in the 4 month long saga between Oakley and myself. It just gets uglier folks I am not even lying.
I will catch you all on Monday.