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Memorial Day Thoughts from Terry Harris  Director, ALR Post 106


Memorial Day Weekend I stopped by the cemetery today to visit my mother and father.  They are buried in the veteranís part over in the Southeast corner of our little hometown cemetery.  This area is reserved for all the locals that have served our great country.  I stopped there today to see if my mothers stone has been set.  I was very proud to see her government issued granite marker bearing her name, rank, and also the conflict she served during.  It was just exactly as she wanted it.  Mom was very proud of her military service.  Right next to hers is the matching stone for my father.  It is also a government issued granite marker bearing his name, rank, and the 3 different wars he proudly served in.  It was just exactly as he wanted it.  Dad was also very proud of his military service.  While I was standing before these two markers I realized how proud both of my parents would be of me and many others that I am now associated with.  I'll get to that in a minute though.  First, I must tell you a story of when I was about 10 years old.  I think I have told this story before, but I'm going to repeat it again.  The year was 1966; the location was San Francisco, California.  My uncle was returning from Vietnam and my father was serving our country in Vietnam.  My mother and me were living at Fort Ord, California.  Mom decided that we would head to San Francisco to welcome my Uncle back as well as the many soldiers that was coming home with him.  I won't ever forget me hugging my Uncle, and him hugging me that day when someone on the side spit on us.  It took me many years to fully understand what had happened.  I have vowed that will never happen again if I have anything to do, or say about it.  Now on to my story.  I know my mom and dad would both be so very proud of the group of guys that I know associate myself with.  They are American Legion Riders.  We as American Legion Riders support the Programs of the American Legion.  We aren't a motorcycle club.  We are members of the American Legion, the Sons of the American Legion, and the American Legion Auxiliary.  We support our troops in foreign lands, as well as our veterans at home.  We do what we can to insure our vets are honored for what they do, and for what they have done.  I have made some lifelong friends through my membership in the ALR.  I have been to veteran's funerals to insure they were honored in an appropriate manner and have watched them trying to be dishonored.  I have vowed that will never happen as long as I'm able to attend these services.   Our veterans will be honored as long as I'm capable of holding a flagpole.  When I can no longer attend on my motorcycle, I will drive myself.  When I am no longer able to drive myself, I will have someone drive me.  When I can no longer have someone drive me, you will be attending my funeral.  I'm not a veteran, but I am very proud to be a member of the Sons of the American Legion.  I was a Charter member of the Sons of the American Legion in Prunedale California way back in the 60's.  I am now very proud to be an American Legion Rider.  If you ever get the chance to see a group of Legion Riders stopped somewhere, come up and say Hi.  I know if I am one of them, I will most certainly appreciate it.  And to borrow a phrase from one of the best Legionnaires I have ever met.  Thank you for what you do.

Remember, Hug your children every chance you get.

Until Next Time 
Thank you
Terry Harris
ALR Post 106
Larned, Kansas
Cell:  620-910-7998