Charles Keefer's Blog

Those who are left behind …

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I met this woman and her daughter at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. After a few words, I took her camera and shot a photo of her and her daughter pointing to her husband’s name on the wall. She now has the photo.

This is different from visiting Arlington National Cemetery.

Her husband died in my time. Possibly in my place.

I was lucky. I was already drafted when I graduated from college. A friend bundled me into a car and drove me to Orangeburg, S.C., where there were a few slots open in the Army Reserve unit. We swore in and avoided that war.

I eventually transferred to a unit in West Palm Beach. There I got my six years and got out.

That unit has since been sent to Iraq.

I can’t tell you how sorry I feel that her husband was killed in a useless war. I am sorrier still that my unit was sent to another useless war and has suffered casualties.

I wonder what the Iraq War II memorial will look like. Different than the Iraq War I memorial, which we haven’t built yet.

I wonder how many more there will be before we realize that our survival as a species does not depend on who won the last war, but who won peace and cooperation.


Written by Charles Keefer

February 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. there are many who pray and hope for peace, however it seems to be the way of the world that the other person wants what you have or to control EVERYTHING, in stead of working to achieve that which one wants, which may be difficult, it seems that many just want to TAKE it, by any means possible-hence war. In this day and age it appears that many want to do it this way,example the olympic male Russian skater, who when he received a silver metal, showed not only poor sportsmanship, but an utter disrespect for those independent judges, by stepping to the gold platform before going to his own, and then making statements to what he thought should win the preformance. (It had been billed as strength vs form), As did the leader of his country. Do you hear leaders of other countries making disparaging remarks about the other countries that ranked higher than theirs in the games?? and so it is with the world- to want what others have and take it by force. On the other hand there is the American skier from Vermont that donates all her Olympic money and selling maple syrup with her name on it, to build clinics, water wells, and teaching programs to small villages in Africa that not so many people know about-One person can make a difference -at least for some, and if someone died in your place in someone else’s war then maybe it was not your fate to be there , perhaps it was your place to be the one who teaches some of those computer skills to an under privileged person who will put them to good use and his children will now know him as a farther instead of “my dad who was in jail all his life” everyone has a place in the universe, most will never know why, but others will.

    there is hope for without hope we are doomed-it may not be in our life times, but there is hope for peace, in the mean time , it is a waste to perpetually be in mourning for those who die, but in stead, honor them by living the best that we can -and the best we can do for others


    February 20, 2010 at 1:35 pm

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