|Photo Description: A 92 year old veteran stands, in rememberance and in a moment of silence.|
I have always associated silence with war.
I see movies and documentaries that show that war was anything but silent. It was a noisy, and bloody and destructive thing. While it raged through countries, it also, when it touched them, took frail bodies and tore them apart, it blasted holes in the hearts of those who waited at home. War was not silent.
I have always associated war with silence.
My father fought in World War II. My father was wounded in World War II. But, through my growing years, I learned that my father's fight, my father's contribution, my father's individual actions were shrouded in silence.
There were words my father had but never used.
There were memories my father hand but never shared.
There were people my father lost who's names have not been said.
For there is silence in a deep part of my father.
As a growing child and then, once, again as an adult, I ask my father to tell me about the war. He told me little. I know he saw Stonehenge. I know that he was in Italy. But he didn't tell me about war, he told me of places he'd been. He walked around his silence and told me what he could see from there.
I left him to his silence.
I left him to his need for silence.
And I will join him today, as I do every year, in that silence, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Silence here, too, on Veterans Day in the U.S.
My father also served through Europe and N.Africa. He would not talk about his experiences with war, but simply the places he'd been. After his death, we found his letters home (to an uncle) in a suitcase. The letters have a lot to say.
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