I struggled between posting my usual Monday Excerpts, after all, I do have a release tomorrow. But my heart wasn’t in it. Instead, I’m going to discuss what Memorial Day means to me.
It has nothing to do with placing flags or flowers on gravestones or crosses, or other outward displays. It is deeply personal. During the 70’s when I was in the Army I participated in a joint German-American memorial day. It was a reminder that both sides lost many brave men and women. Years later, I visited Flanders Field and was startled by the number of crosses. I also visited Verdun, went through the preserved trenches, and saw mock-ups of whole villages that were decimated by war. Since then we have lost many more soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, as well as others who served.
When one is in the military, death comes on a regular basis. It can occur in combat and in training accidents. One of the guys who introduced my husband and me died in El Salvador when his helicopter was shot down. It was a long time ago, but I still grieve for him. After all, if he hadn’t shove me toward my husband, and said, “She’d be happy to join you.” We would probably never gotten together.
Recently, several other old friends and soldiers have died. This time it was heart disease and cancer rather than enemy fire and parachute jumps.
Tomorrow, I’ll get back to book stuff. Today, I’ll give thanks for those who have lived and mourn those who never came home.