Smart Way to Remember Memorial Day

  • Published on May 26th, 2008

Memorial Day (2008) Flags in Annapolis HarborThis morning I took a nice long bike ride around my current hometown of Annapolis, Maryland. As the home of the US Naval Academy (and lots of USNA alumni), it is a town that really pulls out the stops when it comes to recognizing Memorial Day as a day to remember the sacrifices made by US soldiers, sailors and Marines during our nation’s history.

Today happens to be a gorgeous, breezy day – perfect for flying the flag, for recreating in the outdoors and for thinking about ways to honor the memory of those who have made our freedom possible. From my own family, I spent some time remembering Uncle Gene, a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, my cousin Todd, a career army medic who saved lives in Panama and the Persian Gulf, my father Ray, who repaired gyrocompasses as an enlisted sailor during WWII, and my daughter and her husband who both are currently serving in the US Navy. I also said a prayer for one of my best friends, a classmate who is currently in Talil, Iraq and for all of the other men and women who are doing their best in a challenging situation.

During my thirty years in the US Navy, many of my friends and colleagues have spent a great deal of time and effort either actively involved in protecting America’s interests in the Persian (aka Arabian) Gulf or in planning ways to protect those interests. During the past few years, similar efforts have started to draw more of our attention and resources in a place that most people could not find on a world map – the Gulf of Guinea. It happens to be off the coast of Nigeria, one of Africa’s key oil producing regions.

Though I have taken enough courses in national strategic affairs to recognize why our political and military leaders have determined that keeping a strong military presence in such regions is a good idea, I cannot help but think that it would be a far better investment of our treasure and the lives of our brave defenders to figure out ways to position the US to be able to declare its lack of interest in the internal affairs of oil producing countries.

Readers of Red, Green, and Blue know that there are many ways to reduce our use of oil and natural gas. We need to keep talking about those ways and sharing our ideas and thoughts with both decision makers and with our fellow residents of the planet Earth.

Smart Cars seen at an Annapolis, Maryland dealership on Memorial DayDriving smaller cars – like the Smart Cars that I saw during my morning ride – carpooling, and eliminating unnecessary trips are all quick ways to send the message that we want to slow our oil consumption. Building nuclear power plants fueled with uranium from Australia, Canada and the United States instead of with LNG imported from the same places that currently supply our oil is another way to reinforce the message.

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Photo Credit – Photos taken on May 26, 2008 by Rod Adams.

About the Author

loves and respects our common environment, but he has a fatal flaw in the eyes of many environmentalists -- he's a huge fan of atomic energy. Reduce, reuse, and recycle have been watchwords for Rod since his father taught him that raising rabbits is a great way to turn kitchen scraps into fertilizer for backyard fruit trees and vegetable gardens. They built a compost heap together in about 1967, when he was 8 and when Earth Day was a mere gleam in some people's eye. During his professional career, he has served in several assignments on nuclear submarines, including a 40-month tour as the Engineer Officer of the USS Von Steuben. In 1994, he was awarded US patent number 5309592 for the control system for a closed-cycle gas turbine. He founded Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. in 1993, started Atomic Insights in 1995, and began producing the Atomic Show Podcast in 2006. He is currently an active duty officer (O-5) in the US Navy. He looks forward to many interesting discussions.