I took these pictures on Veterans Day last year.
This is what it looks like to lose someone. Even more than 30 years after the end of the Vietnam War the pain remains. Thirty years from now will we be the ones still paying tribute at a memorial to the men and women fighting our battles today? I can only hope so.
What do they see in the reflection? The image of an father or older brother who was taken away too soon? How about a grandfather or uncle they never had the chance to know?
I generally don't like it when people say the reason our republic survives is only because of those who served in the military because, and this is coming from a vet, that's just not the case. The republic is here because of all of us. We've all contributed to the cause. The soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Marines just made it safer for all of us as generations went about the business of building the country.
I don't know why this quote came into my head as I was writing this, but for some reason it just seems right today. It's from the opening of "The Devil and Daniel Webster" which I read in my eighth grade lit class and, to this day, it remains one of my favorite stories.
"And they say that if you go to his grave and speak loud and clear, "Dan'l Webster-Dan'l Webster!" the ground'll begin to shiver and the trees begin to shake. And after a while you'll hear a deep voice saying, 'Neighbor, how stands the Union?' Then you better answer the Union stands as she stood, rock-bottomed and copper-sheathed, one and indivisible, or he's liable to rear right out of the ground. At least, that's what I was told when I was a youngster."
Happy Veterans Day on this, the 90th anniversary of the War to End All Wars.