Monday, May 28, 2007

The Wall

A flurry of flashing lights, blue and red hailed the arrival of the motorcade. The air was a throbbing pulse of motorcycle engines announcing the arrival of the wall. I sat in my car a the corner of 18th and Highway 101 filing a report about the motor procession that brought the Vietnam Moving Memorial Wall to my small community for a second time. Vets who’d served at the beckon of their country, some drafted, others at will, the memories of those who never came backed solemnly followed the procession into Miller Park. I finished my report, closed my phone, and felt the first tears roll down my cheeks.

I do not believe in war, but I believe in those who serve. Whatever their reasons, barring hate, I mourn for the personalities and lives lost. Your not being here is the reason. The gapping holes left in the fabric of lives that revolved around your smile. That doted on the child that way you. The promise of a future that will never be fulfilled.

Days later I stood quietly at the wall. Bouquets of flowers laid at the base of different panels as gifts to the lost where names stand timeless, etched in the granite’s once smooth blackness. I ran my fingers over the Tees of Thomases now gone, the crossed Efs of Frank who never knew their sons, the dotted Js of James, and I’s Isaacs who never watched their daughters dance. The never forgotten comrades of the broken, the ones who came back and can’t quite ever look forward without you. The ones haunted by sweaty dreams of your screams and theirs.

I look into the black, etch the letters that reflect none of the warmth that was you, and I cry. I never knew you and I cry for your lost. For the hell you were sent to suffer at the hands of our government. I mourn for the spit and the jerks you endure at the spite of those in opposition to a war that never should have been. One much like the war being waged today quarter of a world away from that jungle.

Requiem of the Demigods

Dealers of Death sell their wares,
In the name of security and peace.
Thank the mothers of young
Sacrificed on the alters of democracy,
Good youths blithely thrown
After the negligent wants of old men.
Demigods whose clocks are ticking
Fear no legacy in time.
Your mark spilt blood on the world
Rents in the soul of humanity,
Renewed hate and ignorance.

© 21 September 2004 Calista Cates



Lemon Blossom said...

What a beautiful post. I used to believe in war, because of what I read in the Book of Mormon, but have changed my mind about a lot of it. I too cry for those who have lost and for the fear and torture of those who have been there and who may never really be able to leave because of the torment they continue to feel.

Cele said...

LB, welcome.

Thank you for your kind words. I am amazed at how many people stand behind this war, the numbers stagger me. But I find far more against the war and that makes me feel hopeful.

I'm not sure what it is that makes most Christians feel this is a just war. It boggles my mind.

We have become terrorist and bullies and it scares the shit out of me.

BTW I love reading your blog, thank you.