More Than BBQs, Parades and a Day Off

By Robert Haugh

“American girls and American guys
We’ll always stand up and salute
We’ll always recognize
When we see Old Glory flying
There’s a lot of men dead
So we can sleep in peace at night when we lay down our head”

-Toby Keith, Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue by T

As we honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day, many of us spend time with family and friends over the three-day weekend.

We have BBQs, line streets with red, white and blue with parades and honor our fallen soldiers.

Among the oldest American Memorial Day traditions is the Indy 500. Santa Claran Kyle Kaiser was one of the 33 drivers who competed yesterday, vying for an opportunity to get his face on the Borg-Warner trophy and sipping milk.

The 23-year-old Santa Clara University business and finance major was the center of the spotlight on “bump day,” bumping two-time Formula 1 World champion Fernando Alonso from the starting grid by fractions of a second. Dubbed a Cinderella story, Kaiser’s run to the grid was quite amazing. His Juncos Racing team had thrashed to get a car prepped literally overnight. Unfortunately, the underdog teams clock struck midnight when Kaiser smacked the wall after approaching a slower car while running in 25th, ending the race for Kaiser. Kaiser was uninjured.

The 2014 Bellarmine graduate was making his second Indy 500 start. He placed 27th in 2018. Read more about him on his Indycar bio.

Kaiser was the 2017 Indy Lights champion with three wins, three pole positions and eight podium finishes in 16 races.

Speaking of parades, we think Kaiser would be an excellent person to participate in the Santa Clara Parade of Champions in September.

As you take time today to relax and celebrate the Holiday, take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is truly about — remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

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