Too Many Memories
It seems it shouldn't hurt so much - most of those people were lost over 35 years ago - yet the pain is as fresh as if it were yesterday. Mike and I were together at the USO in Denver, long time ago. We did a lot together. He married the second-most-beautiful girl there, I got the first. Mike & Judy's children are grown now - as old or older than my 30-something daughter. They probably have children of their own, just as I have a grandchild. The difference is that Mike's not there to be with them. It hurts.
How many people remember Denny? Probably only some of his high school friends, and his fellow cadets at West Point. Possibly a few of his platoon remember his name, but how many others? Denny and I squared off against one another in football, baseball, and track, yet we were also good friends. I still have is West Point bathrobe, won in a wager over the Army-Air Force football game in 1964. I washed out of the Air Force Academy, Denny graduated from West Point. Hardly more than a year later, he died in Vietnam.
"Chuck" and I were friends even before I broke his jaw in a sparring match in 1964. We'd developed a rapport during Cadet Summer, and carried it on into the academic year, even though we were in different squadrons. He graduated from the Academy and learned to fly C-130's. He died as a passenger, going back to Pleiku to rejoin his squadron after some kind of medical treatment.
Three people - three of more than a dozen people I knew and respected - that gave the ultimate price for freedom. I don't need the Wall to remind me. Each day, each month, every year, reminds me of how lucky I am, and to make me ask, "why them?". Only God can answer, and He has yet not chosen to do so.