The Wall

In 1982, I read about the completion and dedication of the Vietnam Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. I read of the thousands who poured past it every day, many becoming very emotional. The wall contained the names of every known military service fatality that occurred during that horrible page of American history, and there were newspaper stories of people who pressed wax into the engravings in order to take home a piece of the memorial. With all my heart, I wanted to see that incredible tribute to those who had fought for our freedom and ended up being misunderstood. My opportunity to visit in Washington, D.C., came two years later when I was invited to stop in D.C., on my way home from New York City after visiting another friend. I immediately told my buddy who lived and worked in Washington that I had a strong desire to see the wall. He therefore made plans for us to visit. On the way to the mall, I had a thought that turned my blood cold. What if I didn’t feel emotional when I saw the names on this long wall? What if I found that I was immune to the patriotism reflected by this wall? Did I dare expose myself when I might find that I was callous and unmoved? I took my chances and wept as I walked down the long way, reading name after name that, though unfamiliar to me meant everything to me. The ultimate sacrifice that they had made overpowered me and reassured me that I cared.


About bobosbest

I am an 80-year-old retired English teacher whose writing goals are fulfilled by publishing these blogs. I have a wonderful married partner, Dimitris Tsitsiras, who is from Greece. Life is good and still an adventure.
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