(Pseudo) Memorial #3
Note: On July 30th, both of my parents were recognized for their many years of hard work in maintaining an annual sailing event. The event was not created by them, but they were instrumental in overseeing and running it for decades. I was offered an opportunity to speak to the group. (When have I ever turned down that kind of opportunity?) Below is what I said:
Thank you for being here today. I promise not to speak for too long because today is not about speeches, it's about sailing. You are here at the Normandy Beach YACHT club, originally founded as the Normandy Beach Sailing Club to sail in the 46th Annual Sanderling Regatta and it's a perfect day to do so.
I don't know all of you, but you knew my mom. You knew my mom because she was always here; year after year. She sat at that table. She greeted you. She made sure you were taken care of. She wanted you to have a good race. No matter how you placed, she wanted you to walk, or maybe that should be sail, away from this experience with a positive feeling.
This was the place she wanted to come back to, specifically with my dad. In her last days, she said she wanted to be here, explicitly for the races. Sailing was important. Running a proper race; following the rules and protocol were paramount. Over many years she and my dad, planned and promoted sailing on Barnegat Bay. It was my mom's passion; it is my dad's as well.
As you go out to race today, do so with the passion and drive of my parents. You honor them by sailing and keeping the spirit of sailing on Barnegat Bay alive.
Final note: I was not the last to speak; plenty of sailors and volunteers got up to share afterwards, which was very moving. What moved me the most is that going forward, this regetta will be renamed in their honor.