"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Leavings at The Wall": by Michael Lansford

Some of the Remembrances Left at The Wall
CJ, I have a few more thoughts about The Wall.  I guess we can call it "Leavings at the Wall".

As people come to our Vietnam Memorial Wall each year for Memorial Day, and on other days as well, I wonder what their immediate thoughts might be when they're looking at all the names there. 

Do they wonder who they were?  What they did?  How they died?  Who and how are their families?  How are they handling their losses?  What kind of tribute does one leave for a life lost protecting comrades, our country. and it's whole way of life? 

Whatever they leave at The Wall, do they wonder if it is it enough?  Is it too much?  Is it the right thing to leave?  We each can only answer those questions in our hearts and minds. Whatever is left is most probably the right thing for them, in order to find their inner peace and their way of saying, "Thank You." 

I too ask myself these very questions.  I can't seem to find any right answers. For me, my heart tells me, even though I have never been to the real Wall, I will always be there forever and I have already left, in my mind, the most important things from me:  my prayers, my heart, my soul, my blood, my undying gratitude, pride and respect. 

The Wall Signifies Many Things 

Those things are unseen, but they are there always.  How could I possibly leave anything worthy for those that gave their lives to save mine?  

All I have in life will never be enough, or the right thing, from me. If I could give my life and trade it for theirs, I would. That, for me, is the only true leaving one could give. 

I catch myself wondering, did I do enough for them?  Did I try hard enough to save them?  What could I have done different to make a difference in all our lives over there?  

In my eyes, I failed in so many ways and I can only ask forgiveness from them all for not doing more than I did. And I wonder, what if they had lived? How would their lives have turned out?  Did all of our losses truly make any difference?  

Like the question under the Hamburger Hill sign said, "Was it Worth it?" That's a profound statement if there ever was one. Is any loss in any war worth it?  How many must die, before the world truly understands the high cost of Freedom?  

Right now, the best thing I can leave at the Wall is, "Thank You".  Then salute and walk away. They will truly know, hear, and they will understand.  All we have to do is listen. The Wall speaks volumes to us all.  

Just sit quietly and listen ...

Other Articles by Michael Lansford:
Remembering The Wall: by Michael Lansford
Life in the Jungle

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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