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Memorial Day Sobriety

Same as any other day

Photo by the Author

It’s a national holiday today in the U.S. It’s meant to honor and pay homage to all of those who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

It’s seen as the kickoff of summer, and the tradition is to get together in parks or backyards and have cookouts and play softball games and for the little ones to run around. And, of course, to hoist some beers.

Back in my crazy days, that meant numerous beers and tons of weed and a swim in a creek somewhere and maybe passing out in the sun in a field.

It’s not like that anymore.


I’m thinking about my dad, who was in a branch of the army called the Army Air Corps, later to become the Air Force. He didn’t turn 18 until 1944, and he enlisted immediately. Of course, no one knew how much longer the war would last at that time. The war ended in 1945, and he never saw action.

His older brother, my Uncle Bill, surely did. He was in the army for six years, and he fought in Africa and Europe. Malaria kept him from hitting the shores on D-Day.

I honor them. Neither of them died in the service, but not for lack of courage and willingness.

These are some of my main thoughts on Memorial Day, along with thoughts of many other soldiers who perished.

I’m free from obsessing about bags of ice to keep the beer cold, and how much and what kind of beer, and cleaning weed and rolling joints and cleaning the chamber pipe and which party is first, which is second, which is third, and where will we end the night?


My wife and I are outside the mainstream. We don’t feel pressure to be in the middle of things, and to engage in what the mainstream is doing at any given time.

We do our own thing. Sometimes that may be getting to a good spot for fireworks or to see a parade, but most times not.


I saw the first Spiderman movie 20-ish years ago, and that’s about it for Marvel movies for me. (Is that a Marvel movie?)

The other day my wife said she wouldn’t recognize Taylor Swift if she saw her in a grocery store.

We keep it simple by going our own way.

A phrase she uses on occasion to help keep social pressure at bay on “big days” is this: “It’s just another day.”


For me, that translates to meaning it’s another day to stay sober. The world may be up to this and that, and we may have a big occasion or party to attend, and that’s cool.

But, under that is my foundation of sobriety.

And I need to keep that upfront and clear in my mind that it’s my priority.


I know that being sober is becoming a lifestyle choice for many. There are “soberfluencers” and sober styles and mocktail bars. I don’t know a lot about any of that. Some of it seems to be a pose and way to gain attention and money.

And much of it is deeply meaningful and I think that the idea of helping people to consider their relationship to alcohol can be vital.

Again, I’m not much in touch with the mainstream on this movement. I don’t know who’s who and what’s what. I’ve seen stuff regarding J-Lo and Katy Perry but I couldn’t tell you what it’s about.

I stay focused on my reality.

I can’t drink safely. Today, and every other day, for all the days that I’m here, that’s the case.

Holiday, no holiday, wedding day, surgery day, starting a new job day, getting laid off day, injuring my Achilles day, going to a Yankees game day, birthday, you name it.

There’s a common thread to all of them.

My sobriety comes first.

I wish you a lovely and meaningful Memorial Day.

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