On Memorial Day, 2009, at 3:00 p.m., the most important thing going on in downtown Lexington was the start of the bike race associated with Bike Lexington. Lexington closed down its streets all day long for this event. During the day, our city officials spoke to the crowds and participated in the events. It’s been said that “we are well on our way to becoming the healthiest and most bicycle-friendly city in Kentucky.” I know there are many that are proud of this accomplishment. The organizers of this event purposefully moved the Bike Lexington event to Memorial Day this year to take advantage of the Bluegrass Cycling Club’s 32nd annual Horsey Hundred tour. 1,700 cyclists from across the nation came to ride the Central Kentucky countryside this weekend.
A group of us decided to take advantage of “car-free downtown” and walk in honor of our fallen heroes between the hours of 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM when the streets were open to walkers, riders, skaters, and strollers. We are all participating in STEPS to HONOR, an awareness program that honors our military, law enforcement, and firefighters, including veterans, those currently serving, and our Fallen.
A Gallop poll recently revealed that only 28% of Americans know the meaning of this noble holiday we call Memorial Day. I find that shocking, but what I am about to tell you will convince you that sometimes the pollsters know their stuff.
We realized at that moment, that not even a mention of our heroes, their sacrifices, or a moment of silence had occurred. I was surprised by this because I was actually reminded about the National Moment of Remembrance by an email forward I received from someone in our state government last week. With our city so involved in the planning of Bike Lexington, I couldn’t understand how they could have forgotten to plan for this moment of silence. The irony in this situation is that the announcer had everyone’s attention and the crowd was completely quiet at exactly 3:00 PM. The perfect opportunity was presented to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and teach those in the crowd of the importance of this annual holiday weekend.