Fly Your Flag

This morning I hung the flag. Memorial day is still a few days out, but the blue sky made me remember and today seemed a good day to put it up. As this weekend approaches and the boats, barbecues and bathing suits make their appearances I bid you remember the real meaning of the weekend.

Unfortunately we are still at war and although I wish that my cousin's death three years ago had been the last, it was not. Cpl. Ray Michael Bevel (above) was killed at the peak of the violence in April 2007. Today, reports that 4400 U.S. men and women have been killed in Iraq and another 1085 in Afghanistan. 

I hope that none of you ever experience the sorrow my family felt and continues to feel. Now is not the time to discuss how or why. Now is simply a time to remember. Below is a repost from 2007.

The small plane stands out in the vastness of the blue West Texas sky. As the scream of the turbines dies, a somber silence blankets the air, only the uncontrollable sobbing cries of a grieving mother can be heard over the constant wind, buffeting through the bunched groups of family and friends.

An eternity passes before the door opens with a crack and six soldiers carried a seventh across the blazing white tarmac. The family touches the flag-draped casket as it glides into the hearse.

Along the open highway roughnecks, ranchers and oil men all stop. Some get out of their trucks, hold their hats against their chest and stand at attention as the procession rolls past. Later, in town, eight thousand people stand along the road in total silence as the war-battered body of a young man passes into the city limits for the last time. School children are bussed to the short route to stand with flags and learn what it means to be a patriot.

As a father grieves quietly, the body of Cpl. Ray Michael Bevel makes it's final sojourn.

A Day at the Derby

While the ponies were running that 1.25 last weekend over at a little track called Churchill Downs, me and a producer were out at Will Rogers Downs making the best of the on again off again rainy weather and shooting one of my favorite subjects. Here are a few of my favorites.