Thursday, August 5, 2010


"We just got back from a European cruise!" the old man said to me.

"The best part was seeing Normandy beach. And just seeing the rows of crosses where our soldiers are buried. What amazed me most was the straightness of the line...if you knelt on the ground and looked 100 crosses would blend into one. It was absolutely beautiful. When you walk up, they play the national anthem, and there is such a feeling there...I can't describe it."

"Were you in the Army?" I asked.

"Yes," he replied.

"Did you fight in World War II?"

"No, I was later."


"No...I was in Vietnam."


I can never explain the silence that comes over me when I meet a veteran, especially of Vietnam. It's like the images he saw and his experiences loom over our heads, and to pay respect we remain silent. I have yet to figure out how to break through this silence. Maybe it's the heroism. Maybe it's the horrors. Either way, it leaves me speechless.