This is a repost from last year. My father was the inspiration and it was based on the only story he ever told me about being in WWII. I’m reposting it because, a year later, I’m thinking about him on Memorial Day. I’m also reposting it because there was some editing that I didn’t see in the hurry to post it on Memorial Day. (Editing done?)
But, most of all (this post around anyway), I’m reposting it because in 2014 I realize how much this story is about me. (In fact) I’m pretty sure the soldier walking down a war ravaged street in this story wasn’t my father, it was me; I just didn’t know it a year ago …
So, on Memorial Day 2014, be thoughtful for all those who have given you freedom and be thoughtful for yourself; you should be free.
Embrace what my father gave us.
The soldier sat with the heels of his hands pressed against his eyes. He twisted his hands back and forth trying to erase the visions that clogged his mind; trying to eliminate the horrifying visions of silver skinned victims wandered aimlessly through the streets of WWII Nagasaki.
No matter how hard he tried he could not erase the insanity of death; children left without parents and parents left without children. He couldn’t clear his mind of refugees searching for warmth in the desimated streets where rubble buried countless citizens that were pawns in a game where there was no winner.
The soldier strengthened his resolve, rubbed his eyes one more time and this time tears were replaced with indifference. It was time to get back to the business as he had been trained.
Compassion was replaced with duty. Fear was replaced with resolve. Humanity was replaced with patriotism.
He stood, adjusted his pack and looked up the war-torn street. Dry eyed, he stepped forward; there was work to be done.