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GUEST BLOG: MARIO ANDRETTI

Memorial Day weekend is here.  And although we won’t be running the Indy 500, it is still Memorial Day, a somber day of remembrance of the men and women who died while serving in the United States Military. We cannot overstate the will and unselfishness and spirit of these individuals.  They knew the risk and were brave enough to face it.  And we also acknowledge the strength and ultimate sacrifice of the surviving families whose lives were changed forever when their soldier didn’t come home. 

This weekend, take a moment to reflect on the lives we as Americans are fortunate to enjoy, and the patriotism of those who gave so much to protect us.  Reflect on their service and why we have the luxury and freedom that we have today.  If you are home with family, set aside a moment to honor our fallen.  Gather everyone and pray for so many who served nobly, each giving their life to a cause they believed greater than themselves– our nation.  Remember what they stood for.  They were rooted in duty, love of country and service to others.  They are the very best the country has to offer.  

I believe there isn’t a more noble profession than being a soldier.  Thank you to everyone who heeded the call to stand and defend our country and didn’t get a joyous homecoming.  God bless those who paid the ultimate price and were laid to rest.  We are deeply grateful and we remember your sacrifices.   

The month of May at Indy has always been my favorite time of year.  And I love the pomp and circumstance on race morningand standing proud and solemn when the American flag and veterans join us on the grid. And the US Air Force flyover sends an emotional chill up my spine every time I see it. 

We’ll be “Back Home Again in Indiana” in August.  But this weekend, why not do just one small thing to participate in this national holiday.  Put your flag up outside your home.  Or place the Stars and Stripes on the gravesite of an American soldier.  Or attend a Memorial Day event in your neighborhood.  Do something to mark and appreciate the memory of those who are no longer with us. 

Have a thoughtful Memorial Day.  Enjoy your weekend, but pause to show gratitude, too.

- Mario