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"The Celebration of Freedom-A Shout Out to My Veteran Brothers and Sisters" (Reflections on Daytona Beach Bike Week, 2018)

A lot has changed over the past thirty-five years. That's how long it'd had been since I last visited the Annual Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida. Back then, I was a bright-eyed college student out sowing my proverbial wild oats, out to have some serious fun without a care in the world. This year, my visit to Daytona Beach was much different. I was visiting with my business associates and the oats we were sowing were much deeper. We witnessed the business of freedom firsthand and it was a wonderful thing to watch. Tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts (many military veterans), men and women of all ages letting their hair out, flaunting the prettiest, the baddest two-wheeled (some with three) machines ever constructed on the face of the Earth, beautiful works of motorcycle-art rumbling together in unison, celebrating life, celebrating FREEDOM.

It was on our drive home, back across the State when a revelation hit us. Certainly, when it comes to the celebration of freedom, one company stands out above all the rest. There's no doubt about them, they've embedded a 'Celebrating Freedom' lifestyle deep into their corporate DNA from their very beginning. In fact, it's been their business heart and soul for 115 years- they are Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Their history runs deep with America. If you don't believe me, then spread your wings and try something new for a change. If you want to witness, experience freedom firsthand, then make a plan to visit a motorcycle rally anywhere in America (or in the world, for that matter). I'll bet wherever you go, you'll feel Harley-Davidson magic somewhere in the air. You'll bask in a celebratory aura of a special brother and sisterhood. You'll hear the thunder of freedom all around. I know it might not be for everyone. All I can say is that it's truly special, it's something meaningful to witness, and maybe, probably, more powerful to experience.

So honestly, I can't wait for the 2019 Bike Week in Daytona Beach. Next year, I'm going to leave my car behind. I've decided, I'm going to be on the back of a Big Bob, or maybe a Sport Glide, perhaps even a Sportster or a Heritage Soft Tail, I'm not sure yet. But then again, that's what it's all about. It's about riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle alongside my veteran Brothers and Sisters. For me, for us, it will be the epitome of Celebrating Freedom.

Who wants to meet me there?


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