I Will Remember

I will remember beyond the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month.

I will remember.

Great Uncle Durgin’s plane was shot down by the Luftwaffe. His body, never found.

His 19 years will not waste away in the Mediterranean Sea. One day—when the time is right—my second child will be named for him.

Casper Marshall Durgin Jr. served in World War II. His name is listed in a memorial inside St. Paul’s Cathedral.

I will remember my father could not watch Forest Gump because of the war scenes. No story or song need remind him of the Vietnam War. He understood—the real life version for those who’ve read The Hunger Games—what it meant when his country drew his number; his name.

Daddy sacrificed. Words cannot reclaim the unspoken pains he knew and saw. No matter how much time goes by, he will always recall memories from a far away land.

I will not forget the veteran I interviewed for a Veteran’s Day article in 2008. He did not want to talk to me, the reporter with pen and paper. Looking back now, I can’t blame him. I wanted to write a good story and meet a deadline.

I was 23. How could I relate to the horrors that flew home with the Afghanistan veteran? He spoke of nightmares, storms, distrust in the way things were and of how many homeless veterans had been forgotten.

Never again will I take the attitude of the 23-year-old I was. I will remember behind the names on every memorial, life was taken. Some of the soldiers who returned home brought war with them.

What or who will you remember today?

World War I Memorial on the South Carolinana Library wall.

By Rebecca T. Dickinson

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9 thoughts on “I Will Remember

  1. 247southernvoice November 12, 2012 at 9:52 PM Reply

    Thank you for remembering. We will never forget. My grandfather served in World War II, and came home from England with a bride on his arm. He was one of the fortunate ones. There were those who gave their lives to protect the things they believed in, and their graves cover Lexington, Arlington, Luxemborg, and many more graveyards.This is the price of freedom. And we must never, never, never forget.

    • rtd14 November 16, 2012 at 4:27 PM Reply

      I am happy to remember. I am happy to see your grandfather came home. I hope he lived a happy life with his new bride. There were many who did not come home. I have connections both through research and family to World War I, World War II and Vietnam. We must never forget. Thank you!

  2. Elliot November 12, 2012 at 10:34 PM Reply

    I had relatives who served in WWII and some who were lost there. It is difficult for people to understand what it was like to be there or the sacrifices made, but we should at least make the effort to respect and remember. This is the price of what we consider freedom to be.

    Good post.

    • rtd14 November 16, 2012 at 4:23 PM Reply

      Thank you, Elliot! I do not think anyone can ever understand what soldiers go through except the veterans. I’ve been interested in World War I history, especially, due to the changes that war brought to modern society and the way in which war was fought. It changed the lives, souls and minds of men and women. Thank you!

      • Elliot November 16, 2012 at 4:28 PM

        The WWII impacts in the UK pretty much brought about the National health system. I doubt most people these days who take the service for granted don’t even realise that.

      • rtd14 November 16, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        I didn’t know that. I know the National Health System in the UK helped save my ex-husband’s life. To this day, I am grateful to UK’s health system.

  3. robincoyle November 13, 2012 at 1:41 AM Reply

    On a recent trip to France, we visited the American Cemetery in Normandy. One of the most moving experiences of my life. Thank you to the Veterans, for their selfless service for our safety.

    • rtd14 November 16, 2012 at 4:21 PM Reply

      Thank you Robin for your comment, and I thank your daughter for her service! I imagine it must’ve felt inspiring and sad to visit Normanday. Much thanks to the Veterans for their service, you are right! Thank you again, Robin!

      • robincoyle November 16, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        I was taken by surprise. I knew it would be moving but didn’t expect to sob. They were so young. So young.

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