Though there are many customary ways to observe Memorial Day, I’ve often struggled to figure out a way to do justice to the holiday. But this weekend I had an experience that gave me some guidance. I went to my 20th college reunion. And as I guess is often the case the celebrants of the 25th reunion were given pride of place in the alumni parade. They processed with all the mix of hijinks, nostalgia and loud university memorabilia you’d imagine. But what fixed my attention were the placards with the faces of their classmates who died before reaching their 25th — university face book photos, black and white and grainy, frozen in time late in their teenage years. Dead but remembered.
I just came from my 15th reunion, and while I did not see the same sort of public commemoration that Josh talks about, it was very much a topic of conversation as ROTC had just returned to Columbia’s campus. Josh is right, this is no longer history, but our present. I knew more people who served in Gulf I, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less aware of the loss we suffer everyday.