This is the Friday which marks the beginning of summer.
When I was A LITTLE boy, it meant that soon we would be headed out to Aunt Louise's resort on Bangs Lake - and there would be endless warm summer days spent swimming and biking and playing with new friends, and old friends from last year, and boat rides and maybe even, if we were lucky, a ride in 'Uncle' John's seaplane.
It also meant chores. Cleaning seaweed off the beach in the morning, bringing the oars out for the boats - and bailing the water out of them if it had rained overnight.
As I grew a bit, summers changed to freedom from school and melted asphalt streets and sidewalks so hot you didn't DARE go barefoot.
But it all changed for me in 1965, when I went to Viet Nam.
After that, this became, for me, Memorial Day Weekend.
I don't have bad dreams anymore. Those near and dear to me no longer have to be afraid to try to wake me up from sleep. Time has healed my wounds. And time has also altered my perceptions.
I don't believe in War, anymore. I support our troops, they're brave and loyal. But governments MUST find another way to settle their differences - a way that doesn't include killing the world's young people. Our children.
It's the young that fight the wars. It's our future we spend to fight our wars.
I will war no more.