Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Today is traditional Memorial Day.
Seems like it was on a CONgressionally mandated three-day Memorial Day weekend that my boat sunk in front of Sundance on the Parker Strip. Technically, I guess that's where the prop shaft coupling let go and it was later, after taking on a considerable amount of water over the low freeboard transom, that Jim sunk the dam thing because he didn't listen to what I told him to do. That was eons ago and JIm's been dead for six years. Still holding a grudge, I see.
On a cold, blustery November day I stood contemplating the ghostly figures you see mirrored in the polished black granite wall. The reflected figures are larger-than-life stainless steel statues dressed in full winter combat gear and posed in a chained off garden.
I get what the artist intended with the superimposed figures reflected among the other faces etched into the black granite, but it doesn't have the emotional impact of the Viet Nam Wall. Perhaps because it isn't my generation.
Mrs TWC's evil stepfather was one of many whose life was destroyed by the Korean War. The platoon he commanded was blown to bits of blood and bone, he the sole survivor. He suffered his entire life, gradually devolving into an abusive, chain smoking, wheel chair bound, alcoholic victim of agoraphobia who suffered from PTSD and screaming nightmares. Maybe he would have been crazed anyway, some genetic malfunction or a family history of psychological problems. But I'm betting on the rain of carnage he witnessed first hand, for which he blamed himself.
It is fitting that we remember the tens of thousands of war dead and the hundreds of thousands who were maimed or otherwise injured. It is also fitting to remember that the Korean War arose from bad decisions our leaders made at the close of World War II. Ironic indeed, that America allowed herself to be bullied and browbeat by Uncle Joe into handing over North Korea to the Soviet Union, the ultimate cost in American lives was nearly equal to those lost in the Viet Nam War, not to mention the multiple billions of dollars spent to keep troops on the Korean Peninsula for six decades.
Photo Credit: TWC November 2011