Around Memorial Day, there is a constant roar throughout Indy about the upcoming race. As Hoosiers, we constantly talk about attending the race, including the seats we have, the noise of the race cars, and our pre-celebratory plans. We become connected to the drivers by learning about their personal lives through the local media as well as attending various events leading to the big day.

Personally, not being from Indiana, my connection to this annual event arises from my grandfather and father. They lived in Indianapolis for several years of my father’s childhood and teenage years, and my father even worked in the race stands during the Indy 500.

One tradition that Grandpa and Dad established and continued doing—for as long as I could remember—was the yearly bet. With there being thirty-three drivers, Grandpa selected his three top choices for who could win the race, and then Dad took the remaining twenty-seven racers. This tradition was not significant for the one dollar on which they placed the bet but for the camaraderie that was built through this competition. This ritual became such an important part of my family that Dad and I now still carry it on—except he now selects the three drivers!

What memories do you treasure from your past? What traditions exist for you and your family around this time of year? No matter whether it be through annual traditions with family and friends or through newly established customs, may you take a few moments not just remember those who have served our country (and continue to do so) but also your own service to God, your family, your friends, and your ministry in this community.


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