I was taking some photos at the Vietnam Memorial this afternoon. Often, loved ones leave flags, flowers, teddy bears, or photos at the base of the panel containing their soldiers' names. Still, these boots stopped me cold. They may very well have last been on the feet of a soldier named on the adjacent panel. They have brought me closer to feeling the presence of one of the lost soldiers than anything else.
Each time I visit the Wall, the more I am saddened by the sheer waste it represents. Not once have I stood there and read names without becoming overwhelmed by the thought of so many of my generation, despite their individual courage, being spent like so many dollars or bullets. I'm sorry, but I don't believe that a generation needs a war to prove its courage, nobility, or sense of duty. I find it terribly disheartening that hubris and self-righteousness seems to push us into such tragedies. Every person who would seek to send young men and women into such situations (especially those who have let others die for them) should have to see these walls every day of his life.
I'll come back again -- to grieve? to learn? to give thanks? to hope?
PS - nothing except sign, downrez, frame.
Other Vietnam Memorial photos