Memorial Day

Memorial (n.)-created or done to honor a person who has died.

I have a friend whose Father was killed in Vietnam when she was a little girl. Forty eight years later she can still tell you everything about that day, about that moment, when the soldier came to the door with the envelope in his hand.

She can tell you what the weather was like, what she was wearing, the way her baby brother’s foot looked hanging from her Mother’s hip, about the strangled sound her Mother made and then the wailing.

She wonders what she was doing at the exact moment her big, strong Daddy laid down his life in a rice Paddy far away.

She tells me all of it, with tears in her eyes. Her tears are frozen at her eyelids as that moment is frozen in time. Her shoulders drawn in as though to ward off blows on a place still tender. After all these years.

Today, maybe even at this moment, somewhere in the world, someone’s child, someone’s parent, someone’s friend, someone’s someone will die for our country. It will probably be in a desert rather than a jungle, but still, alone, afraid, miles away from anything that feels like home. We will be eating BBQ when this happens, or lounging by the pool, or binging Netflix.

May we all stop for a moment and remember that somewhere in this country, a soldier is coming to the door with an envelope in his hand and drawing a line of demarcation down the middle of a life, across which all events will now be placed in time as either “before” or “after”.

And in a moment, I will send my friend a text, as I always do on Memorial Day, to let her know that I am thinking of her…and that I remember.

One thought on “Memorial Day

  1. Pingback: Memorial Day – Present Imperfect

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