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5/28/2010

Memorial Weekend Friday

This is the Friday which marks the beginning of summer.

When I was A LITTLE boy, it meant that soon we would be headed out to Aunt Louise's resort on Bangs Lake - and there would be endless warm summer days spent swimming and biking and playing with new friends, and old friends from last year, and boat rides and maybe even, if we were lucky, a ride in 'Uncle' John's seaplane.

It also meant chores. Cleaning seaweed off the beach in the morning, bringing the oars out for the boats - and bailing the water out of them if it had rained overnight.

As I grew a bit, summers changed to freedom from school and melted asphalt streets and sidewalks so hot you didn't DARE go barefoot.

But it all changed for me in 1965, when I went to Viet Nam.

After that, this became, for me, Memorial Day Weekend.

I don't have bad dreams anymore. Those near and dear to me no longer have to be afraid to try to wake me up from sleep. Time has healed my wounds. And time has also altered my perceptions.

I don't believe in War, anymore. I support our troops, they're brave and loyal. But governments MUST find another way to settle their differences - a way that doesn't include killing the world's young people. Our children.

It's the young that fight the wars. It's our future we spend to fight our wars.

I will war no more.

Ndinombethe.

16 comments:

Jientje said...

It's a good thing your wounds have healed, and the nightmares have gone. As they said in the seventies, make LOVE, not war.

Miss Ash said...

Thanks for sharing this, Lou.

Thanks for spending so much time, energy, body-power, and mind power on serving this country, too.

Ashlie-Mommycosm.com said...

Amen, Lou.

And SO glad time has helped your nightmares fade. I know others not able to shake them.

xo

Mags said...

Your summer images of when you were little make me smile...as does the fact that your would have healed.

Happy Memorial Day Lou!

Tuli said...

Happy Memorial Day, Lou.

Peace.

Hockeymandad said...

Happy Memorial Day sir. Thank you even more for your service to this great nation of ours. I do hope new solutions are found soon at a less costly expense.

Grandmother said...

Your post brought back painful memories of our brothers and friends damaged by that war. My heart goes out to you and I'm glad you don't have the awful nightmares anymore. I'm with you in saying "NO" to war and the death of our children and grandchildren as the way to settle our differences. Surely we can be more creative than that.

Scott said...

Lou,
I was surprised at how much I could relate to your post. Vietnam changed everything for me too. I was with 25th Inf. Div in Cu Chi. I had nightmares for years and I remember as I was preparing to leave my family to go to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm, over 20 years later, I said to my wife that my worst nightmares were coming true. I was being sent off, away from my family, to fight another war. After I retired from the Army people were often surprised by my negative reaction to us going to war in Iraq. No one hates war like a soldier, except maybe his family. Great post for Memorial Day weekend or any time.

Scott said...

OBTW, I noticed a not long ago you started putting "Ndinombethe." at the end of every post. ?????

PattiKen said...

Yep. Twins for sure.

Happy Memorial Day, my friend.

P.S. Did you ever fry an egg on those hot sidewalks, just to see if you could?)

Heather said...

Wow, I had no idea you had went through that. Thank you for fighting for our freedom, my friend. Enjoy your weekend, you deserve it!

NicoleB said...

No words need to be added to your statement.
I sign it as it is.

moneythoughts said...

Good post Lou. I share many of your feelings, but sometimes a nation isn't given much of a choice. I agree Vietnam was bad policy from the start. And, invading Iraq wasn't necessary either. But Desert Storm, to move Iraq out of Kuwait and Afghanistan after 9/11 were actions that needed to be taken. What I deplore is all the talk that the government takes carry of its service people and then see the poor condition of the hospitals and the waiting GIs have to endure to get treatment and help. If we really cared about our service people they wouldn't have to continue to suffer after they endured some much for their country.

Nan Sheppard said...

I know a man who goes back to Viet Nam every year, with suitcases of presents for the children. He just gives them away to anyone. I wonder why some people manage to move on, have a family, have friends... and some can't. It is awful, and now two of my sons are going to attend a top-notch school with close military ties. I worry so much.

Michael said...

Here thanks for the welcome back, after Rosie life feels raw, but it continues.
The war yes watching a program of all the amputees back from war the other night awful and scary

Emily/Randomability said...

Thank you, Lou, for your service.