MEMORIAL DAY MEMORY

I still remember how I felt that summer afternoon

It had been many years since I last stood in front of the courthouse square in that small Texas town

I was a teenager the last time I stood in that courthouse square

My sister and I spent almost every summer with my grandparents

We lived with them for three years

They did not live in this small town but it was where they went on Saturdays to market and to socialize on that courthouse square

I was back many many years later for a church reunion at the family church

We drove into town because it had been so long since I had seen the place

I parked in front of the War Memorial

A concrete memory of lives lost

Wars fought

I did not expect to recognize anyone’s name

I wasn’t looking for anyone’s name

I found his

He had been my elementary school friend, my summer friend, always laughing, always joking

Robert

His name now a statistic

Casualty

Viet Nam

DAMN

All these years later

I still remember how I felt

As I stood in stunned silence

My heart breaking for a loss family and friends had already mourned years before

Perhaps a dull throb in their hearts that day

A fresh and sharp pain in mine

I still remember how I felt

I still mourn

For him

And the others whose names and lives are lost in history’s battles

Known only to the remaining family and friends who still mark every anniversary of loss

We owe so much to so many

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