I am chaperoning a middle school field trip to Washington DC this week. You will forgive me I hope for the tone and brevity of today’s blog.
We visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial yesterday. Coming the day after Memorial Day, the many gifts left by friends and relatives of those that gave their lives in that terrible war were still at the wall.
The kids raced down sidewalk beside the Memorial Wall and took smiling selfies in front of it.
The cannot possibly grasp the magnitude of what they are standing beside, else how could they smile? There are 58,286 names on that wall. My daughter took this picture because she thought the dog was cute.
She didn’t notice the dog is holding a MISSING poster.
Each name on the wall is marked with either a diamonds or a cross. The diamonds signify a soldier who made it home to be buried. The crosses signify those that never did. I looked up an old war buddy of my step-dad’s while we were there, though the tour group didn’t wait on me to do it. Thankfully, his name is marked with a diamond.
I don’t like writing non-fiction and never will, but I do know that I will never imagine an injury greater than those we (as humans) have committed (and continue to commit) against each other, nor create a protagonist more heroic than those who founded and fought for this country.