“Excuse me, sir? I was wondering if you could spare a couple minutes of your time. Could you perhaps sit down for a bit? I know you must be busy – or just don’t care to chat – but would it hurt to sit and listen for a while?
— Oh, the stories I could tell you if you could, if you would. Some of valour, some of fear, some of sorrow, and some of joy. There was the time that we hung the Private’s boots in a tree and made him climb up after them. He looked so funny scrambling from limb to limb. I could tell you how I lost my leg, or perhaps how Jimmy saved my life. They’re kind of the same story, really. Or there was the time I saved a young orphan from a burning shack. I could tell you how I held Roger in my arms as he lay dying, how we just couldn’t save him. Sometimes, I would cry myself to sleep while guns sounded in the distance. I could tell you how we charged the line, how we fought and died on foreign soil so you could sip a Starbucks coffee every morning in peace.
Would you perhaps like to see some photos? I have them all here with me. Here’s a couple of pictures of my company, that’s me there on the right. They’re all gone now, I’m the only one left. Most of them never made it home. This is one of Roger and I, he’s the one I mentioned earlier. This is me in the hospital after I lost my leg. I wish I could have stayed with my brothers, but I was too injured to fight. I wrote them every day though – I never forgot them. These memories are all I have left of them. I will never forget what they did, what they sacrificed, what they died for. I will never forget them. When most barely acknowledge their existence I will honour them every single day. It’s the very least I can do. I miss them, so much. —
No? You don’t have the time? Okay, I’m sorry to bother you. That’s all right, I understand.”
Inspired by “The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC. by Carissa Snedeker”