I’m heading for the salt water again over Memorial Day Weekend. Namely, the San Juan Islands, in the inland waterways of Washington State and British Columbia.
I’ve been there before. Several times as a boy, my Dad chartered a friend’s boat to take us Salmon fishing in the islands, and for Mrs. Goober’s and my 10 year anniversary last September, I took our boat out there and spent the weekend whale watching and touring the islands.
This will be my first time fishing out of my boat in the San Juan’s. I’ve boated there before in my boat, and I’ve fished there before in someone else’s boat, but never fished out of my boat.
I’m taking a group of friends with me who are relying on my fishing knowledge to catch us some fish. We’re mainly headed out for Ling Cod, but if we limit early enough on lings, we’ll probably go after halibut on the banks in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Weather permitting, of course. Checking the buoy station on Hein Bank shows that 15 foot waves are not uncommon out there. When the wave height is ¾’s your boat’s length, it’s time to go in.
More importantly, though, while doing whatever it is that you're planning on doing over Memorial Day, stop for a while to think about why we have this holiday. Think about the young men who died because their countrymen asked or demanded that they do so. Think about the causes.
Think about the bravery that these young men showed, standing against men that would maim and kill them, because we asked them to. Or coerced them to, under threat of imprisonment and social ostracism.
Consider the young boy, who, in a world without anti-biotics or any reasonable surgical capability, stood his ground against a redcoat volley, so that our country could exist. For the unlucky one, who did not survive, is why this holiday exists.
Do not forget the lions who were lead into battle by jackasses in Europe, using century-old infantry techniques against modern military technology, who were slaughtered wholesale, because we asked them to be.
Or the men who faced terrible odds, but who climbed into their bombers, anyway, so that they could destroy darkness before it descended on this Earth, because we asked them to do so.
Don't forget why we celebrate. Yes, go fishing. Go camping. Stand before an assembly and give a speech on why men are evil and women are better. Agitate for the socialization of our society, and the subjugation of every person in it. Work in your yard with an extra day off work, and enjoy yourself, but understand WHY you are able to do these things; it's because generations of young men died, screaming in the bloody mud, to bring you the peace that you now enjoy.