If I could be with you today, it would be on a bench in a space specifically set aside, tended to and nurtured as a memorial. There would be a flag. There would be enough wind so that as we sat silently, we could hear its fabric song flapping softly.
I would hold your hand in both of mine, cradled in my lap. I would wonder where your thoughts were but wouldn’t burden you with my need to know. I would sit with you silently wondering how difficult your time serving our country was and how you managed to survive. I would be glad to hold you in that moment and be satisfied with the possibility of even a split second of peace in your soul that might come from that connection.
I wouldn’t be sure if my words should be that of thanks or apology so I would sit silently. I would wait for a cue or a sign or a sigh that might tell me which direction to go. I would hope to be a reprieve. To be a safe place. To be a confidante. To be brave enough to hear what you would finally share, knowing that I would gladly assume some of your burden if there was any possible way. I would hope that there was some sense to be made of your sacrifices.
I would send all of that to you through such a simple touch…and in that moment, everything would be okay.
It wouldn’t be a celebration, but it would be a beginning. I most mourn the loss of those beginnings.