A Stop Along the Way

There are certain times and places where the only appropriate action is simply to pause. Back in Michigan a few weeks ago I went to my parents graves with one of my brothers. I am not overly sentimental about final resting places or mortal remains. It seems improper to attach so much reverence and import to the material while obscuring the expansive nature of the spiritual, however you define it.

On the other hand, there are events of such life changing import that a commemoration of them seems necessary and of the highest importance; as they say: Less We Forget. For those of my generation such a time and such a place come together at the Vietnam Memorial on the Mall in Washington DC. I am headed there to honor those who died in Vietnam and those who served there and still suffer from the exposure. A black gash in the ground reminds us of the dark wound in our collective souls.

I always add when talking about the Vietnam War, should you not know or perhaps poorly remember, there is a singular book that remarkably captures what happened to us all back then. I cannot recommend another piece of literature more highly: A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan.