I connected with an old neighborhood friend via Facebook earlier today -- while I'm still not a huge fan of the site, it does make it remarkably easy to find people you "used" to know or who you've lost track of. We had a nice chat and reminisced about other people we knew in common -- one of which was a neighbor who was killed in Vietnam.
I grew up during the Vietnam era but I was too young to really understand all the ramifications. I can remember worrying about whether my brother might have to go -- he was fourteen years older than I was -- he never did -- I think maybe because he was in school. But a family down the street did lose their son. His name was Bartow Potts and he was about ten years older than I was -- he had two brothers who were closer in age to me. I don't remember any of the details other than he was killed over there and, eventually, the family moved away but I couldn't tell you when or where.
Ten years ago, when my eldest was in the 8th grade, her middle school class took a trip to Washington, DC. One of the places they were to visit was the Vietnam Memorial -- at the last minute, I wrote down Bartow's name and told her to see if she could find it. When she came home, not only had she found it (they actually have a list of names and where they are located on the wall) but she did a rubbing of the engraving. Though I never really knew Bartow well, the memory of his death had stayed with me and tears stung my eyes.
Today, on Memorial Day, I want to remember Bartow Potts and all of those like him who lay down their lives for this country. No matter how one feels about war, every soldier -- dead or alive -- should be given their due respect.
I hate to think where we'd be without every single one of them.
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As an aspiring writer, I blog about whatever happens to move me at the moment -- though some posts contain serious content, my big-picture goal is to bring a little humor into an often humorless world! Welcome, y'all, and make yourself at home! Please make sure you update your bookmarks!
When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus