Happy Memorial Day. My father died on Memorial Day when Memorial Day was always May 30, regardless of the day of the week. I think my father died on a Friday. He was an Air Raid Warden during the war, having four children when war broke out and being over thirty and working in a business vital to the war effort, i.e., he was a coal and oil salesman. So he did not have to become a uniformed military. I shall write more about him when that anniversary — that actual date — comes around. He died in 1964, the day after the greatest triumph of my teenage life and a distinguished moment in all of my life. More, later.
Meanwhile, as a veteran, I salute all my fellow veterans. I was, being in Korea, technically in a war zone and potentially very dangerous area. But I was insulated from the real danger so much of my generation endured in Vietnam. The danger lingered in friends like Bob Ryan, a captain in the Americal Divison who stepped on a mine in March, 1968, barely saved his foot, though toward the end of his life he was in danger of having it finally amputated — but died likely of complications from Agent Orange exposure. Bob died in February, 2017. I miss him. He was a good friend. A veteran who, like so many, was anti-war. War isn’t, really, a thing to be for, ever. Sometimes, the enemy forces our hand. Sometimes we crack out of turn. Either way, it’s a tragedy.