Saturday, April 19, 2014

Florida VII

If you have been following this journey of mine for any time at all, I imagine you might understand that every so often, just by chance, something occurs that is so emotional and moving that it screams to be shared. Just such an incident happen on my recent visit to Florida.

I visited a memorial in Ft. Myers. It had been raining all morning and I really didn't expect to be able to take any good pictures, but as we arrived the rain stopped. Kismet, I thought and hurried to visit the site before the rain kicked in once again, which it did shortly thereafter.

The memorial consists of three, side by side, "walls" listing those from the five counties surrounding the site. Very nice, but nothing too out of the ordinary. I read the names and took a a number of shots of the site, but then as I started to leave, I noticed something.

In front of the three walls is a Field Cross and, as you know, these are often seen. This one, however, was different. Attached to it was a typed note, you can see that in the photos, but what was different was how it was attached. It took a minute for the realization to hit me and it struck like a thunderbolt. Here was some vet honoring those who were lost on this particular day so long ago. All these years later, he went out of his way to come here, to this site in Ft. Myers, and once more honor his buddies. He attached the paper to the rifle in the Field Cross with the mechanical hand from his artificial limb!

I was dumbfounded. This was something I have never seen. It is not unusual to visit a site and find something, a memento, a picture, a flower, or something, left by a loved one, but this was unique.

A little later, I realized that the paper had been dry. It had been raining all morning and ceased just as we arrived, so I must have missed this guy by just minutes. At first I was disappointed, I would have loved to welcome him home and hear his story, but now after a few days I think that this was a very private moment for him and I am glad I did not intrude.

This memorial is located on the corner of Colonial blvd. and McGregor Blvd. in ft. Myers.

Next time, on the 24th, return with me to Alabama.

To see other posts from Florida, or any other state, click on the state name on the left side of this page.

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