Monday, May 29, 2006

A Pretty Darn Good Day

Today has been Memorial Day, a holiday set aside to remember those who perished in war. It was a good day, and I managed to put off the remembering until sunset.

John and I (photo) served, he in the navy and me in the air force.

We paddled on Lake Michigan this morning along with 9 others in the Milwaukee SeaKayak group. The water was 50 degrees F with the air about 70 to 85 F depending on the direction of the wind. At the end, we found some nice clapotis coming off the breakwater and drove through it.

Then there was the relaxed coffee at a local java shop, then home. In the evening, my family gathered, and it was good to be together. There was no talk of war or dead or remembering; and that is how I wanted it.

The house is quiet now, and the remembering is seeping in. I am remembering, once again, the young air men I scraped off the tarmac in Thailand and all the ones who flew off to never return. Some died, some were captured and some met fates unknown.

No one was there when we came home from that ill-run war. Many young people are unaware that such a war even ever occurred. But I remember.

I remember the stories that still tear my heart apart and still wonder what happened to those famalies suddenly deprived of their sons, brothers, fathers and husbands.

I will go to sleep soon, and I will not, hopefully, dream. Tomorrow, I intend not to remember again. I have let all the anger go. I cannot bring those brothers back. And, I know inside, I will remember many times between now and the next Memorial Day (should I survive to see it).

You see, there is a curious and special bond amongst those who have gone to a war, and it is the remembering that honors the dead and (in the case of that war) makes their sacrifice real. In the end, it is my sacred duty to remember.


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