Tomorrow we remember the soldiers, sailors and airmen and women who died in service of our country. I hope that service in the defense of our fellow citizens never goes out of style. I hope that our enemies never forget that there are millions of us who would die to preserve it. Tomorrow, however, let’s spend some time thinking about the collateral damage to the families of those who died. They also paid a price.

Death of A Father.

He couldn’t stand at the grave.

He couldn’t remember being there

when the soldiers stood at attention

while the mourners bore sad witness

to his father’s passing.

He was only five years old

when the young veteran of World War II and Korea

got in a small training plane

for his last trip.

He didn’t remember his voice,

but he imagined it often in his youth.

He had only black and white photographs

of the man who ushered him into this world.

He never heard a stern rebuke

when his homework didn’t get done.

His mother and stepfather had to do the duty

of accompanying him to adulthood.

But, he never forgot what he missed.

Every Memorial Day,

he thought of all of the soldiers and sailors

who had died in the service of their country;

but he held a special part of his heart

for those they left behind.

He wished that he could spend some time

with the young Captain.

He wished that he could throw a ball

back and forth in the yard with him.

He wished that he could have

been at graduations

and weddings

and the other events that marked his long life.

He felt guilty that he had become an old man,

while his father would forever be 28.

It is hard to enjoy a holiday

that stirs up memories

that never happened. Dadtwo Dadthree