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