Thursday, October 28, 2010

Every Name.

There is something about me that most people don't know.  In fact, I don't think my own husband even knows.

Each time I drive to the City (which is almost daily), I pass a veterans memorial.  About once a week or so, I stop.  I get out of my car, and I go to the Walls.  I read the names. 

I don't know anybody else who does.  There's hundreds.  I know a lot of them - or of them.  Or know their children, or grandchildren.  Their names are inscribed there for a reason.  They gave of themselves - walked away from so much - carry burdens that cannot be lifted - many of them gave all.  All.  For you, for me... for their country.  There are so many walls like this - more all the time.  Black, marble walls with white names.

I can't read them all.  Can't remember them all.

But on these walls... on the walls I drive by, on the walls I see nearly every day... on these, I can read the names.

And I do.

I read every one.  Every one deserves to be read.  To be remembered.  There are six who I went to high school with, who have already reached their eternal destination... six names next to which I rest my hand, and sometimes get teary eyed. 

But I don't stop their... it's where I go first, but then I move forward.  I start at the beginning, and walk all the way around both walls.  I read every name.

There is something I'd like to ask you.  It doesn't matter if you support war, or this war, or your home country or your own government.  That's not what those walls are about.  They are about the people who believed so strongly in something that they were willing to sacrifice all... and who were willing to do what most of us never would dare.  Not just the heroics and the danger to self... but the taking of lives.  The destruction.  The devastation.  The nightmares that won't stop, seeing the young faces in crowds and thinking for just a moment, it's that one person... that one enemy soldier who turned out to be still a boy and not yet a man.  It is that, those things we abhor, those things we despise... they were willing to bear that burden for you.  Remember that.  Remember that they believed, that they stood for what they knew in their hearts.  Remember that they chose to make the greatest sacrifice they could... for people like you and me. 

Remember that.

And read every name.  Even if you do it just once... read every name.  Each has a story, a life, a family... and each deserves to be read.

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1 comment:

Fraga said...

I'd love to see one of those but there isn't one close to where I live, I don't think.