A thought. A moment.

Today as I was walking home thinking how lovely the world was and debating what I would do with my day off, I had the thought that it might be nice to do something related to veterans.  This was, after all, Veterans Day.  They were the entire reason I had the day off, and more indirectly the reason I’m here.  It might be nice to remember that.

I happened to be crossing the Cambridge Common at the time, and decided to examine several of the monuments there as a part of my resolution.  There were a few plaques commemorating the march from Watertown to the Battle of Bunker Hill, and one that I’d crossed many times commemorating Paul Revere’s midnight ride.  There was the Great Hunger memorial.  But the largest monument was set back from the sidewalk.  As I approached, i was surprised to see two figures on it, one atop the other.  The higher figure was robed, perhaps a bishop or something else religious.  The second was dark, and less clear, but it reminded me of Abe Lincoln (which, in fact, it was.)

Here are a few pictures:

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Lincoln

Lincoln

Unnamed figure

Unnamed figure

The monument was a commemoration of those from Cambridge who had fought in the Civil War.  Listed on each side were their names, in addition to a summary plaque, an engraving of the Gettysburg Address, and the correspondence that called these men to fight.  There was no mention of the upper figure, so I resolved to do more research at home.

Veterans Day is both a remembrance of military veterans in the US and a remembrance of the end of WWI abroad.  The holiday was originally celebrated as Armistice Day, but was eventually changed to include all veterans.  For those of you grammar buffs who may be wondering on the official placement of an apostrophe for the holiday, the US government has declared the official spelling to be apostrophe free.  It’s attributive, not possessive.   Sadly, I could not find specific information on the monument itself.  For now, I will have to remain puzzled on the identity of the upper figure.

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What could be better than a glorious Friday afternoon in the sun?  How about a bit of the ridiculous – a glorious Friday afternoon in the sun on a Segue?

While there are further reports of frustrations and losses in Myanmar, I would prefer to focus on the positive: people doing some good in the world.  And that’s what’s going on for a few U.S. veterans right now – Disability Rights Advocates for Technology is giving 30 veterans with amputations Segues for free.  The group sponsors a ‘Segs-4-Vets’ program in an attempt to give further mobility and support to a group of people that have already made sacrifices for us.

While I myself find Segues somewhat silly – why not walk, or even ride a bike? – I’m grateful that the technology exists.  Especially in this case, it gives people the freedom to move about without being looked down on, as they would literally be in a wheelchair.  Many of these machines are sold at reduced rates by individual retailers, rather than the manufacturer, giving stores the opportunity to prove they support their troops.  While it doesn’t make me want to go out and buy my own motorized personal transport whatever, it does shift my perspective a little.  If I see a Segue store, I’d be more likely to smile than snort.