Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On This Day 38 Years Ago

On this day, thirty eight years ago....the war that never was and the war that never ended.....ended.

A long abandoned and barely speakable chapter in our nation's history finally came came to a close on this day thirty eight years ago, but it never really ended for those who were there and those who remained. A chapter in our history was closed on that day and just as soon forgotten, but nothing was ended for those who knew what had really happened and why. Theirs was a history that was forgotten by most who quickly moved on with their own lives, all but the forgotten who never forgot and never moved on. They couldn't

Forgotten by history were those who bled the lands of S.E. Asia red with their youthful blood. Forgotten too were those who returned in zipped up bags and tin coffins in the bellies of cargo transports. Forgotten too were those who were never recovered. Forgotten too were those who were left behind by the nation that they loved and pledged their lives to serve. The same nation that promised them to never  forgot and never to leave them behind left them..

There were no honorable transfers of remains in their day. There were no thongs of those who cared to bring their broken and lifeless bodies home in honor. There were no long lines of veterans standing in solemness and respect for their ultimate sacrifice.

These forgotten of the past have each..... one and all...... been left to the memories of those who knew them and to the memories those who loved them. Only there in individual and isolated memories do they find peace and rest for their souls. Only there do they find love or understanding of the shared pain that a nation once mockingly looked past. The families who felt the pain of their loss and the families who knew the truth are their only testament. A testament of a nation that turned its back on its own and walked away. Only their families have a connection to understanding or any true thanks for their sacrifices.

Time has passed....... decades have faded by........ a monument has been built, but nothing has brought true solace to their souls or any dryness to the eyes of those who continue to weep for them and for each other.

They weep for those who were lost. They weep for those who were left behind. they weep for those who were forgotten. They weep for each other. As some have rightfully noted, they did not fight for country and cause, as much as they fought for each other. Hence their brothers and sisters are the only ones who truly know the pain of over forty years of the betrayal that they have shared.

It is fitting that the generation that came after finally awoke to the tragedy that had befallen the forgotten before them. It is fitting that this generation came to realize as a generation, that someone needed to step forward and thank those who had sacrificed so much of their own lives to insure that there would be a tomorrow. It is fitting that there are now those who recognize the old forgotten as they now greet them with a smile and a heart felt welcome home. The welcome home they never received back when there was the freshness of the wounds to their bodies and the wounds to their souls.

Kindness is always appreciated, even when delayed, but what was done can never be undone. It is something that must be lived with. Each day follows on as one footstep follows another. There is no recompense for those who were denied their honor by a generation now passed and passing. There is no means of repayment sufficient to salve the rawness of four decades of betrayal, but there is hope.

Hope springs eternal and the lessons learned from our forgotten has served to be the template of justice for the present. The ghosts of the past have risen and shouted in unison to the ghost of the present. NEVER AGAIN! Do not ever again allow this to happen to those who wear the uniform of this nation and bear the price of its battles on their bodies and on their souls.

Stand.....be counted......let this nation know that history will not repeat itself. At least not this dark history. Not as long as there are the few who remember. Not as long as there are those who were taught how to remember by those who were forgotten. Not as long as there are patriots on steel horses. Ready to stand and pay respect. To honor those who have gone before them to that peaceful rest that follows violent death. Patriot Guards stand ready to do that which should have been done for them. Patriot Guards stand ready to repay a respect that can only be earned. Strangers on steel horses remember, because there was a time when no one did.

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