For some reason I am more 'malancholy' today about Memorial Day than in years gone by.
Perhaps it is because I am a little older,or because of a whole series of deaths in our community and in my old Monsey community in the last 2 weeks.
More likely it was a remark that someone in my shul passed to me saying"you were not in real combat,but rather in a tent cutting up people".That led me to reminiscing about all the soldiers ,whose names I never knew in Vietnam who paid the ultimate price.Or the Rabbi killed in a plane crash in Vietnam.I also recall 3 doctors that I know of killed as well.
I recall the young physician in our unit shot down while in a helicopter,surving only by outrunning enemy ground troops firing on him even with mortars.He had been a doc in the field,but after the incident assigned to our surgical unit.Every nite he drank himself to sleep.
There are so many incidents that come to mind-coming under enemy fire during the pesach seder,or going on red alert ,as enemy soldiers penetrated the perimeter,and we sat in bunkers with helmets flak jackets and a 45 caliber pistol, awaiting an MP to escort us to the OR, because they worried the doctors would forget or screw up the code words and get shot by accident.
I close my eyes and recall an incident that occurred while I was saying good-nite to a collague outside the back of the kitchen.We each started to walk our seperate ways.It was only 15-20 seconds later that a rocket hit exactly where we were standing.I have a picure of the hundreds of fragments embedded into the back of the refrigerators.
Those who survive any war, and come back physically and mentally whole have much to be thankful for.
Today we have brave young men and women in all corners of the world doing their duty.We owe them a geat debt and pray for their safety.
How long will it take Obama to recognize that Assad is killing his oeople,and must go? Sadly he has a love affair with the Syrian despot! What kind of foreign policy is he advocating?
We are losing Yemen,stalemate in Libya,screw Israel, Egypt in a stste of flux.