Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017

It came upon a midnight clear...

50 years ago tonight, I was on duty somewhere in 'Nam. I can't say I recall doing exactly what, it was just another day to a large extent.


I remember that in base camp they tried to have a special Christmas dinner, but I really don't remember it. I guess it is possible that we were out of port, running up or down the Mekong, I simply cannot remember. What happens to our memories?


I do remember that my parents sent a little Christmas tree. I think maybe it had little lights on it. And, I am sure they included various goodies. I do remember that we all gathered around it and completely enjoyed having it sitting on top of my foot locker!


The biggest surprise of that Christmas didn't actually occur on Dec. 25, but several months later.

I finally made it home in April and after the dog went crazy when he saw me get out of the car, and my parents and family all ran out to the street, we all eventually, went in to the house.


And, there, where it always was during my childhood, stood the Christmas tree, all decorated, packages beneath its boughs, waiting for me to come home.

Of course, I have no idea what any of the packages contained, that after all is not what we member, we remember the feelings, the love and in this case, the relief, of finally being home.

It was indeed special.


This Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Solstice, Kwanzaa, Los Tres Reyes or whatever holy day, holiday, or celebration of new beginnings that you may choose to celebrate remember to take a moment to remember, to be thankful for and to wish them safe home, those, as Mick Jagger calls them, "the common foot soldier, the salt of the earth." You know that while we celebrate, hundreds of thousands are pulling duty somewhere, many miles from loved ones.

Give them a thought.


                                                                                        ...to men of good will!


  Happy holidays to you and yours.


Many of you will know that during the holiday season, I often take a small break from writing about memorials. So, next time, on the 29th, look for something a little different, as usual, at 9:00am.

To see memorials from any state in the union, click on a state name on the left side of this page.

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