On a startling sunny day in April, 1984, I stood before the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. overwhelmed by the experience of thousands of lives reduced to letters chiseled out of stark black granite. As if shadows of children cast upon the wall as they lay mementos of their loved one wasn’t enough to bear, four fresh young men came to vigil, their uniforms creating a macabre dance of shadows both real and anticipated. I wept then and I weep now.
On this day, March 7, 1965, the first U.S. combat troops were sent to Vietnam. My spiritual practice today will be to take inventory of my commitment to nonviolence, and to make reparation by revisiting the Wall. I will call those men by name and ask forgiveness. I will call to mind all who lost their lives in that war. I will ask for God’s gracious mercy toward all of us who had the need to wage that war. Most of all, I will hold dear the broken lives of my peers who returned from that war hopeless and who still need us.
The Wall of Faces: http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/
6 thoughts on “Shadows From My Past”
I remember visiting the war graves at Arnhem Land when I was much younger, around 20, looking at the rows and rows of graves, all young men, and walking out after a few moments in tears. What a waste of young lives!
Thank you for this, Mo. Visiting the link I provided is very hard for me, but I will do it periodically throughout the day. When the site visitor clicks on the picture a menu of information about the soldier comes up.
Thanks for the reminder, Rita. It’s a sad legacy never to be repeated, and yet… Kay
A legacy which will always affect you so personally, Kay.
Rita, thank you for the re-mem-bering of years ago, as Lee and I stood at that awesome Memorial and wept copious tears for all the souls taken from us. It is still so profound when I re-member and for the families who lost more than their loves.
Don’t you wish the government would really remember?
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