Traditions are hard to break but the ones that mean something never go away. Today is just any other day for Marci except that today she walks to the store to get her groceries. Marci America is sweating after the first few steps of her journey to the store. She feels hungry because the vitamin booster won’t be regularly injected into her spine, and she feels tired because the anti-atrophying agent isn’t going to work for the next thirty days.

The streets of Union Crater, Mars are filled with people who hadn’t seen the grey skies in exactly a year’s time. People just like Marci are trying to remember how to walk more than ten feet in an hour, they are trying to recall how it is to be alive.

Some like Harold Dixon have been training for these days for months. He walks with a steady pace and even daringly lifts his arm to take a sip of Hydro-Oxy from a bottle. It’s people like Marci that really bring out the spirit of the Days of Remembrance. The ones that almost don’t make it are the ones who show everyone else watching what it means to truly understand these days.

Marci is fourteen meters down the street and she can feel her body wanting to give in. She tries to remember that it’s not her body giving in but her mind that wants to break down. If she falls she knows it isn’t the end. Those who fall on the way to do their daily activities are swept up by their neighbors and helped along every step of the way.

Mars dust is disturbed between buildings that have not been disturbed for an entire year. Some children who are naturally vibrant can spot marks they made the previous year and laugh at the lethargy of their progenitors. The red sand is marred with footprints on the way to work, school, and shopping. Upon entering the doors of these establishments there is a solemn silence at the deactivated teleportation consoles next to the entranceways.

By now middle-aged Marci is finding her strength again. She can walk with ease and ignores the stress of bones and muscle. Her eyes focus to the light outdoors, the sun they call Solaris that burns the eyes of everyone who dares to step beyond the threshold of their homes. Marci’s mind is challenged and it prevails. In her lucidity she remembers why they do such things for these few weeks and why it is important to always remember.

Union Crater is a good city with good values. There may be crime and there may be troubles of the family but everyone stops to stare at the grey tower on their walks towards their duties. A sign before the tower is dim without the power inside, letters spelling out in the dust: “Union Crater Power Matrix”. Marci is biting into an apple grown from dirt, not replication. She tastes the sweetness of a year of effort and she remembers to take nothing for granted.