Memorial Day Memory
the third consecutive year, I had the honor to participate in The Time
of Remembrance ceremony held on the National Mall. The ceremony honors
the families of those who lost their lives in service to our country.
Amid all the spectacle of uniforms and flags, Joint Chiefs and speeches,
fly-overs and rousing martial music are the regular folks — the
parents, the wives and husbands, the
children — each carrying the heavy absence left behind by the loss of
their loved one. In this third year of taking part, the depth to which
it affected me was no less than the first. In fact, it was deeper.
Shortly before the opening ceremony as early arrivals were filing in, I
was in the center isle of the audience, doing some last minute
arranging of chairs. An upper middle-aged woman a few rows up tripped
and fell flat. A few of us went over to help her. Already fragile with
emotion, it became quickly evident that her tears were more from
embarrassed than pain. Still, I crouched down next to her, along with
others who helped her gather her bearings and regain her dignity as we
checked for any indication of injury. Once we got her to her feet, she
reached into her light jacket and pulled out a framed photograph of a
young uniformed man, smiling broadly. "My son," she showed me with
pride. She kissed it and cradled it, as though he were once again the
infant she'd held in her arms. As she gazed at her son's image, for that
instant her expression of a mother's love combined with agony of loss
captured the essence of that day's ceremony.
Recent Cartoons (click on Images for larger view)
"Out of Sight"
[local cartoon] After big $$$$$$ spent on waterfront development, the city considers river barges
to handle the (ahem) overflow parking, at the same time drastically trimming the public housing budget.