Memorial Day implores us to remember fallen soldiers. And we shall. Yet that remembrance will always be incomplete, because a life lost is a tragedy worsened by the silence it creates. Dead soldiers cannot tell us their stories. They cannot recount the details of their final moments, nor the thoughts that coincided. We cannot know if they sensed fear, shock, anger, surrender, loneliness, relief, all of these, none of these. Which loved ones warmed their hearts before the cold settled in? Which enemies tortured their minds before oblivion? We shall not know.
Surviving soldiers can share their stories. Death lives in these tales too. It’s depravity damages all sides in war. It can settle into the mind even when the body endures. It haunts. On Memorial Day, let us remember that. Continue reading