This photo exhibits exactly what Memorial Day weekend is all about for me: remembering the troops that we’ve lost, thanking the ones that are abroad, fighting to keep us safe, and celebrating with those here at home by attending the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500.
Events like the 500, would not be possible to enjoy without our troops. They keep us safe and allow a gathering of 350,000+ people to exist without fear or repercussion. That’s not something to take lightly.
I stood on the grid next to people I am not related to, but absolutely consider family. We were surrounded by numerous servicemen & women in the stands. We all listened to God Bless America, the National Anthem and the Invocation – which was inclusive of every driver’s respective nationality and language. The overwhelming realization that I was somehow worthy of experiencing this monumental piece of sports history, in person, had tears streaming down my face.
In that instance of inclusion, love, and pride, something occurred to me with defined certainty: I am living my very own American dream. It might not be a societal norm or something the majority strives for, but that’s never been my style. And the coolest part? I live in a country that allows me to chase whatever dream I can imagine.
Thank you to our unwavering servicemen and women, for allowing me the opportunity to make mine a reality.
Feature photo property of IndyCar
In-column photo taken by pilot from VFA-81 squadron, shared via Laura Steele