Monday, May 31, 2010
Memorial Day 2010
It's been a reflective Memorial Day. My father, now 88, served with his generation who saved the world in the last war that seemed to make any sense, if one can ever say that about war. He hasn't been so robust lately, neither has my mother. I wish I could be with them today...but there's a ton of reasons and three-thousand miles between. Both are WWII veterans and I can't help but wonder, on what Memorial Day in the future will I honour my parents for their service?
My tradition for Memorial Day is to walk our seven-circle labyrinth with names of fallen warriors but, when I woke this morning, I wasn't sure if the solid curtain of rain would let me. Perhaps it was soldier angels who pulled back the clouds in the afternoon and let the sun shine gold from lagoon to bay. I thought about the news lately, of the 1,000th. loss in Afghanistan, as I walked down the hill. Then I thought about the man whose information I carried on a piece of paper. He was the very first to die over there and perhaps, as I like to think, he stands and welcomes number 1,000 to the peace beyond a hard and too short life of service.
Sgt. 1st. Class Nathan Ross Chapman, of San Antonio, Texas was a 31 year-old career Special Forces soldier, ambushed on Jan 4th. 2002, after attending a meeting with Afghan Leaders in Khost Province. He left behind a wife and two children. I called his name from the middle of the labyrinth, surrounded by sunlit butter-yellow Scotch Broom, goldfinches dancing madly on the wind. I thanked him for his service. In the peace of my afternoon I thought of all the men and women so far from home, so far from comfort, and sent them a grateful heart and a mother's love. The sky had cried, as did I, in the morning. It balanced with sunshine and a gentle afternoon, and that's what I'll remember. That's what I'll honour.