Memorial Day And My Personal Experience And Thoughts

Memorial-DayAs a child, I heard May 31st described as “Decoration Day.”   My family would get together and go to the cemetery where my brother was buried.  He had served in the Army and was deployed to Panama.

Although I was two years old at the time of his death, I remember the flag that draped his casket.  It looked huge, and I remember how my mom cried as the casket was lowered into the ground.  I was too young to understand.

In 1996, Memorial Day took on a new meaning for me.   That year, I went to Washington, D.C.

There I was walking towards the Viet Nam War Memorial Wall.  From the hill, I could see the entire wall.  Something within me wanted to reach it quickly, but it seemed like I was walking in slow motion.   I could not get there fast enough.  So many names.  So many deaths. When I reached the wall, I laid my hand on the first section and didn’t want to move away.  Tears began running down my face. Then it hit me.

Viet Nam War Memorial

Had I been born a boy, my name could very well be on that wall.  This is not being sexist but a reality of that time.  I was not drafted or in the lottery because of my gender.

A few days ago, I went to the website, The Viet Nam Veterans War Memorial, and entered the year of my birth and hometown in the search engine.  It returned the names of the boys who died in Viet Nam; boys who were born the same year that I was born.  They were 18, 19, 20 years old when they died.  During the Viet Nam War, they were too young to vote.

This is not to dishonor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in all wars. It’s just that the Viet Nam War became personal for me as I looked upon the Wall. I can’t help but feel that at least one of those boys died in my place.

To all of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, and in honor of your sacrifice and with much gratitude for your courage, Rest in Peace.

Posted on 05/30/2016, in Holiday and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. The only reason I didn’t get Drafted and sent to Vietnam was because they ended the draft about a week after my 18th birthday, otherwise my name might have been on that wall too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Jim! That is amazing! Eliminating the draft is one of the good things that President Nixon did, but it gets hidden among his “I am not a crook” incident.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    Today my heart is with all of the families who have lost a loved one to war and with all of the wounded whose lives are forever changed.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. yahtzeebutterfly

    Remembering those who lost their lives. May they never be forgotten. Also, may we not forget the needs of wounded.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Fighting wars …. Anything war can do, peace can do better!! Please, let’s change current strategies!!

    Like

    • Hey Horty! Thanks for the reblog, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Horty, your comment about war reminded me of a Robert Cray song. I saw him perform it live (I think it was in 2004) and stood up from my seat and cheered him on. Others joined me. It is just that powerful.

      Liked by 2 people

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        *tears*

        May heartfelt messages and prayers reach up and be received, and may they rest in peace. May loved ones left behind be comforted…may a spirit bridge somehow connect and uplift

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This was sooooooooooooo beautiful.
    Thank you for honoring their service and service.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry, that was originally service and sacrifice. Terrible editor I am!!

    Like

  7. butterflydreamer2

    We are taking our grandson to the Palm Springs Aviation Museum.

    Liked by 1 person

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