Sunday, May 24, 2009
Thinking about how the memories of fallen soldiers affects me directly. My brother did a tour in Vietnam but I don't count that in that he's still among the living. Not that it makes for any less an honor but I feel the day was meant to honor those who gave their lives in the service to the country. With that in mind I can only think of one young man who gave his life. It was such a long time ago I can hardly remember him. His name was Tom and he lived down the street from us. He had just completed basic as a pilot and was home on leave. He was from a very large family and I was there playing with one of the younger brothers. I must have looked like one of the clan because he picked me up like older brothers do and asked which one I was. It was an akward moment when I had to explain I was there playing with his younger brother. I never forgot that encounter. Tom was killed four years later in Vietnam. The city erected a memorial in his honor but to me it just doesn't seem like that's enough. How can you really honor someone who gave their life?
In looking for an image for this post I came across several images of "Happy Memorial Day" and I must say there isn't much to be happy about. We're celebrating the death of fallen soldiers and I feel that should be a somber occasion. Have a hot dog or a hamburger but remember what the day is really about.