It is a day that for those who fall into this category, and their families, is so emotionally charged. A majority of people will mark through the date with a black pen when in fact; it should be marked in red.
How do you define the color of shed blood - the blood of victims and victors alike? The solemn wave of flag lined streets and overgrown, neglected cemeteries serve as a grim reminder that freedom isn’t free.
I graduated in 1970. Many of the guys I went to school with were drafted into the Vietnam War. The same guys that I ate lunch every day with, laughed in class with and maybe dated came back as amputees or not at all.
I still remember the sting of hot tears and mingled mascara when I received the call that one of my very best friends had returned as a quadriplegic. I slid down the kitchen wall and wailed.
He had been one of the most handsome in the school and the funniest. I seemed to always be his target. He organized the football team to pick my Volkswagen up from its parking spot and place it in the main hall at school. We talked everyday about everything.
He was so ashamed of his injuries he would not return any of my phone calls. He never really came home.
As a country, we have expressed our gratitude and grief in many different ways. Nothing seems quite adequate. Thanks to a very dear friend and gifted young man, I would like to try and say thank you one more time in one more way. With his permission, I am sharing the expression of his heart through the video he put together in honor of this Veteran’s Day - 2010.
As a side note….just as I was in the process of downloading the video to my Blog site a piece of paper flew out of one of my art folders. This paper was totally unrelated to art, but was completely related to this Post.
This paper detailed a message dated November 22nd, 2005. It was a statement informing friends and family that my cousin’s vehicle, while serving in Iraq, had been struck by an IED. He was the Battalion Commander and had been the only one injured (that day). This was a fresh reminder that the God of this nation has not forgotten him or his comrades.