My Dad, who fought in WWII as a young man– a teenager, really– is buried in the National Cemetery in Houston, Texas. It makes sense, since this was the seminal event in his life. He drove a tank, and he managed to come back without any physical damage. I think, though, that the cliché is unavoidable: he was wounded in other ways and in important ways he never healed. I miss him– he’s been dead for nearly 30 years– but it’s hard to get sentimental about Memorial Day.
Or, rather, I can get sentimental about his life on Memorial Day, but not about the military or the country or war. It’s not fair to second guess him. If I were his age, and had heard about the dangers of Fascism, I might have made the same choice, and gone off to the grand adventure. I don’t what I would have chosen any more than I know if he made the right choice. I know the price was very high for his choice. I also think that the conscientious objectors at Patapsco had a point, too.