Before I write about my motorcycle experiences, and how they helped focus my mind, I want to APOLOGIZE to the people in and around Skokie Illinois who I wanted to meet, but because of a shortened agenda I could not.
Also – While I was away from the 8th of June till June 13th, I did not check my emails. So, as you might imagine, my inbox was so full, that it was literally impossible to respond to them, let alone read many of what people wrote. I apologize for that.
I haven’t really ridden a motorcycle since the last 15 years, and even then I wasn’t much of a rider. So, for me to “saddle-up” with 5 very experienced riders from Montreal (the Maccabees), to travel almost 1,000 miles through back roads and highways, was for me an incredible accomplishment.
We rode in extreme heat, fast moving highway traffic, twisting back roads that far exceeded my riding skills, and a downpour of rain that I would be reluctant to drive through with my car.
Not bad for a 60 year old looking for some adventure. But, then again, I was the third oldest of the group
Since I’m on an apology kick, I will make this my last one:
I apologize to the other 5 riders who had to slow-down, wait for me to catch-up, and pull over to refuel more than they would have had to if I wasn’t with them. They did EVERYTHING they could to accommodate my lack of experience and riding confidence, for which I will always be grateful.
The three-day ride to Skokie was as good and memorable as it gets.
I’m not going to bore you with what happened on the ride, or what went on during most of the events, other than to say it was all VERY good.
What I will say is that I’ve been to three Holocaust Memorial Centers (museums) starting with the Memorial Center in Montreal, then Washington DC, which is by far the greatest walk imaginable through this period’s history, and Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, which is at the very heart of what it is, that we should NEVER forget.
The purpose of this trip by motorcycle was to commemorate the opening of the spanking brand-new Holocaust Memorial Center in Skokie, a bedroom community near Chicago.
HUNDREDS of Bike Riders from all over North America converged on Skokie for this event. There were several groups from Montreal and Toronto. Including Bikers who flew in from Australia and rented bikes in Chicago to be part of this commemoration.
One of the Bikers to make this trip rode SOLO all the way from Vancouver.
And then there were the Israelis who brought with them a kind of spirit ONLY the Israelis can.
We all assembled at a Synagogue in Skokie on Friday morning, where many of the bikers attended morning prayers, while the rest of us more Secular Jews waited in a very congested parking lot.
There were a great number of police on hand.
There were four State Troopers on bikes, and more than a dozen cars from Skokie, the Sheriff’s department and Chicago, all of them to ride escort as they brought us through the incredible streets of Chicago, from the suburbs, to fabled Sheridan Drive, along Lake Michigan to Soldier’s Field and back again.
The ride can ONLY be described as SENSATIONAL.
But, this is what REALLY did it for me and EVERY other biker on the RIDE TO REMEMBER.
When we approached the Holocaust Memorial Center, where the paint was still fresh, we were all made to stop before the building, and then proceed in single file with engines growling at slow speed in first gear around a circular driveway where the people who ran the center waited for us.
BUT THEY WEREN’T ALONE.
Standing with the Center’s Staff were very elderly Holocaust Survivors who waved, cheered, and clapped their hands together while tears streamed down their cheeks.
I can tell you without a scintilla of exaggeration, there was not a biker amongst us who wasn’t crying as we drove by. After parking our bikes, we walked towards the Center finding it hard to speak to each other about what we just experienced without tears.
If NOTHING else, it was this single moment of consciousness of our purpose that made this trip worth it.
As I wrote several paragraphs above, I’ve been to several Holocaust Memorial Centers. And once you’ve been to Washington DC and/or Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, there is nothing new to see or learn about the Holocaust other than some minutia.
So why bother visiting yet another Holocaust Memorial?
WE FORGET – We forget to what extent EVIL lives amongst us. We forget what levels of depravity humanity can stoop to. AND MOST OF ALL, we forget that what happened and ended some 65 years ago, can just as easily happen today.
I had to leave Skokie by myself in order to be home in time for the last day of my extremely long Court Case that involves my DEFENSE of Canada’s Constitutional Guarantee for FREEDOM of Expression, which is being challenged by ethnocentric French Speaking ACTIVISTS in Ontario.
It was a VERY long ride home (2 days), where it was just myself, the wind, the roar of the bike, and my thoughts.
I will end this editorial by writing; that for me, this trip was MORE than just a reawakening. It was a total confirmation for those things I believe in, and am willing to fight and die for.
In my next editorial, I will write about the profound impact this trip to Skokie had upon me, and how it has given me the kind of strength I need to carry-on. And why one of the MOST IMPORTANT exhibits at the Skokie Holocaust Center proves just how much LEFTIST Jews have MISSED the point.
To know more about what I think about the RIDE TO REMEMBER (R2R), and why it was worth so much of my time, expense and EFFORT, Click on the Radio Icon at the Top of this Page to Hear a 14-Minute Audio Editorial.
As an aside: At the time of this writing, it is Flag Day (June 14) in the USA.
I don’t believe such a thing exists in Canada, nonetheless, it gave Anne and myself a GREAT deal of pleasure to run a fresh new Stars and Stripes up one of our two flag poles, with a brand new Maple Leaf up the other.
WE DON’T TAKE FOR GRANTED, THE FREEDO0MS THESE TWO FLAGS REPRESENT.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov