About 15 years ago, I went to DC. More than anything I wanted to visit the grave of President Kennedy. My family wanted to visit museums, it is true power is within the numbers, and it was off to visit museums.
At night we would make plains for the following day as to what we would do and what we would see, they had the day plain, but then there was something inside of me that stood up I made my point. "I have never asked for much, especially on my birthday but tomorrow I am going to visit President Kennedy's grave. I am going with or without you I don't care, but I didn't come all this way not to stop by and visit the people who made a difference in my life. And since tomorrow is my birthday, I am going to the cemetery, and the rose's that you should be giving me, I am going to be giving to those hero's of mine." To which my son said, "Mom if I was to get you a dozen roses, you would walk out of there with 10 still in your hand." My husband who had sat quietly during this whole time, turned to my son and said, "Don't count on it!"
The next morning I awoke and we started off the day as planned, we all got on the subway, they got off and I stayed on. The door slowly shut, my son turned to his father and said, "Dad she isn't getting off. We'll never find her now!" I finished the ride down to the cemetery, went to the office with a long list of names, and waited for them to tell me where I would find them. They handed me back a map of all the places I had to visit that day, I turned and walked out to start my day off. At the bottom of the path I turned to go watch the changing of the guard. When it was over I started off with my journey, there at the bottom of the path was my son with his arms load with roses, and my husband with his arms loaded with roses, they had been in the office asking if I had been there yet, I would have had a long list of names. It didn't take them long to remember that I had been there and left a little over an hour. The man said to my husband, "Where are you folks from?" Utah. "Yes she was here had a page full of names she wanted to know where they were. I knew she wasn't just a tourist because most of those names are the one's that family members ask for. She couldn't possibly know all those people." My son, still horrified replied to the man, "I wouldn't count on it." My husband stood and thought for a moment, and then explained to the man that for 10 years each month he had a phone bill come in nothing under $200.00 bucks. He could name about 15 of those names off. By the time he was done talking, the man offered to take them around the place to find me, so I could put roses on those graves.
By 3 that afternoon, I had completed my journey, and now it was off to the national cathedral, when we came out the sun was just starting to set. It was a beautiful fall evening, when someone had mentioned now is the time to go see the memorials. So we took their advice, Every one of them have a black shiny wall, in which you could see reflections in. The Korean memorial, was a stream of soldiers marching off to the heavens, in perfect formation. At the wall you could see reflections of soldiers with heads bowed.
I have often said, " the world is covered with white crosses, of a mother's son, a father's best friend, a child's father and you'll always find a dinner table with one empty chair. But at the end of the day, no matter what side of the war you happen to be standing, there lies shattered lives and broken hearts that will never be mended whole again. This is when you have to ask your soul, is war really worth it?"
Tribute To Charlie Company, 4th/47th's fallen soldiers (www.9thinfantrydivision.com), those recently lost and to all Veterans of the Vietnam War. This video ...