Managed to leave work shortly after noon today to head north for a few nights in Montreal – yes, a kind of non-Thanksgiving! For those of you in the northeast region, I can wholeheartedly recommend heading north on Thanksgiving Eve! After braving Thanksgiving travel in this country since 2000, I can honestly say that this was the most stress-free time I’ve experienced.
Clearly the New Hampshire-ites and Vermonters don’t leave the house at Thanksgiving, because the roads were just wonderful to drive on. Or more likely they’re just heading in the opposite direction! Either way, it was a very smooth drive. Unlike my drive home last night from my USO volunteer shift – my usual 50 minute drive took me two and a half hours. Seems that lots of folk decided to get a head-start on their Thanksgiving travel because we were forecast to have high winds and rain today. Since I’d partaken in three XL Dunkin’ Donuts coffees over the early evening, I was concerned when we began to grind to a halt on the interstate. Would I last until we got to the gas station? Thankfully yes, but only just!
Anyway, I digress.
So yes, due to the uneventful drive north, I’m pondering on making Montreal the official Thanksgiving trip from now on!
En-route I stopped off at a rest stop on I-89 N in Sharon, VT. By chance I happened to spot something interesting as I was leaving the building – turns out their claim to fame is that they are home to the VT Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It’s the first government sanctioned Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the USA, and was dedicated at on October 30, 1982. And they have actually held an all-night vigil there on Memorial Day eve every year since the dedication. Very touching.
It seems a random site for a war memorial, but apparently it was chosen for a few reasons: Seemingly the summer scenery aroundabout is reminiscent of Highway One in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It also happens to have been the highway taken by draft evaders as the most direct route into Canada, and so stands as the “road less travelled” by Vietnam veterans. And strangely, it is closest to the 138 mile marker from the Canadian border, representing the 138 men whose names appear on the Vermont granite.
Quite symbolic, I thought.
It’s a very beautiful and impressive monument, and the names of all 138 Vermonters who made the ultimate sacrifice during that war are inscribed on its wall. They will never be forgotten.
Thanks to all who serve and help to keep us safe.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Stay safe over the holiday, and eat well.