Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

I walked my neighborhood today, and didn't see a single flag out.

Back in the Land O'Utes, I know they were fluttering from the front porch or put into the holders on the street in front of almost every house in town.

Here, nada. Nothing. Bland. Blank. Bare.

I was surprised, to be honest. After 9/11, we all sort of looked to New York as the flagship, as it were, of all things patriotic; not only is the Statue of Liberty here, but, Ellis Island, the idea of tenement living, immigrants, melting pots, America. The striking blow against this country, an attack on us, against us, on our land...

Not a single flag did I see.

I wear my My Son is a Marine pin that R gave me. Well, that's what he is, the Jarhead, a Marine. He's an irritated one right now, trapped on an aircraft carrier, when he's a man who likes to be in the open air. He calls the Navy men 'squids' and vows none of them had best come near him when he's back on the solid earth.

Now I know why there was so much tension when HaHa and Oob and I saw the two groups circle each other last Spring during Fleet Week.

The two groups simply grow to ha..strongly dislike each other after months together on the ship.

I think about these young people, serving in the military, especially in this day and time. I've expounded on my feelings there, that the generation I was part of, our disdain for that area of life is gone now, we have softened, changed, grown to understand and accept. Our children have moved into the armed forces, for reasons we don't understand at times, those of us who avoided the draft, or prayed our friends would have high draft numbers, who saw the green cami as a bad colour no matter the season.

Now, they come forward once again, joining for those personal reasons, stepping up, stepping forward, saying the thing you don't want to hear, "Mom, should anything happen, should I not come home, know it's because I was saving a buddy."

I don't cry. I'm the Mother of a Marine. I suck it up.

I think of him, in his dress blues, in his cami's, in his dress tans... my blue eyed son, my darling young one.

And, I accept, it is, indeed, a hard rain that's going to fall.


Bud said...

I didn't understand it when I was avoiding Vietnam and I don't understand it now. Especially now. But I honor those who are there for whatever their reason. I hope they all return home soon.

Peter Varvel said...

What he said.

I also honor and respect those involved, but I have often thought I would be among those migrating up north, had I been born a decade earlier, or so.

If a hard rain falls, I will be offering 'an umbrella' to you, for what it's worth, as I'm sure so many others are prepared to do for you.

Mrs. S. said...

How quickly we forget to count our blessings in the "Land of the Free, Because of the Brave."
Yes, the flags flying in this corner of Utah were innumerable, lining historic downtown's streets and each and every neighborhood; lovely on a sunny, fluffy-clouded day.

golfwidow said...

What knocked me out was That Man of Mine pointing out, "How does a bank teller who probably never served, getting a day off, help me, a veteran of a foreign war, when I need to do my banking and can't because the bank is closed?"

Eric said...

Here's where I have a problem right now, in this time and political climate.
Because we've let Bush and Co. set the agenda and the talking points so long, no one is really willing to admit that the mantra "support the troops" does not in any way mean that you're supporting the troops, it means you're supporting the Bush Administration's war.
I support our troops. I will support them wherever they are, but they need to be here.

Quin said...

when i did my audition, they asked me, 'do you have a photo of your son?'

i said, yes, on my computer.

they said, 'do you want us to print it, would that help?'

i said, bring him home, that would be even better.

i hear you, gw, all of you.

no war is a good war. understand the reasoning.


no one will ever point that out to me.

still, it was veterans day, and those men and women needed to be honoured for what they did give.

and, they weren't.

Anonymous said...