May 29, 2011

Forget Them Not

Vietnam War Memorial
Washington, DC

A picture is worth a thousand words.

How many words would you use to define this picture?  One? One hundred? One thousand?

I took this picture during Memorial Day weekend many years ago.  My husband and I had taken our young and impressionable sons to D.C. to visit the nation's capital and see the sites. I was eager to spend time at the Vietnam War Memorial . . .  known as the "Wall." When we arrived I anxiously scanned the seemingly endless list of names, looking for my brother's. He was a 'career' soldier and years after several 'Nam tours of duty he succumbed to the deadly effects of Agent Orange.

My generation has many great memories to behold. The Vietnam War is not one of them. We treated our soldiers badly upon their return from gruesome battles. Hopefully that horrific behavior will never be repeated.

And so it was on that beautiful D.C. day that as I turned from the somber Wall, my heart heavy with sadness and sorrow, I was taken aback by these two veterans sharing a moment of remembrance.

I have taken many photos over the years. Not one of them carries the weight, nor the message, nor the pain of this one.

As we celebrate the unofficial beginning of the summer season, let us remember the true purpose of this memorable weekend.

To all the past, present and future men and women who serve our country, I salute your bravery, your selflessness and your sense of duty to our country. Godspeed. 

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