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Nov 2021
three wonders

as a family. we took a trip to washington dc in the year 1968. the year it burned. the year i turned 9.

i carry memory fragments of that trip. washington monument. lincoln memorial. mount vernon. the smithsonian. national guard troops stationed about.

most importantly our solemn visit to Arlington National Cemetery. a hallowed land far removed from the chaos engulfing an outside world.

from that day i carry memory bits of three wonders.

endless white headstones in neat rows.

the grave and the eternal flame of President John F. Kennedy. it would be seven years later while in dallas we would stand where he was assassinated.

watching The Changing of the Guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

all witnessing stood silent and still. any sounds came from the guards. giving orders. acknowledging orders. presenting firearms.

once completed the crowd slowly went their ways to other parts of Arlington.

i have wondered what my father was thinking. how he felt silently standing there. it had only been 23 years since his service had ended with world war two’s conclusion.

probably of the guys he knew that never made it back now buried at Arlington. the ones that had made it home but are also buried there. that he could have known the pacific theater Unknown. thoughts of the world he had helped save. how much it had changed since his childhood. how much it had changed since the war’s end.

he never said. i never asked.

i was 9 years and a tourist. unable to understand or know the importance or magnitude of all that i saw that day.

i am in awe knowing the painstaking work continues of identifying our fallen heroes. those lost during service to their country. relentlessly searched for. finding and identifying. for they have not been forgotten.

one of them being the Unknown from the vietnam war. a family was given the ability to gain some sense of closure.

that is progress.

major progress will be achieved once sons and daughters no longer have to fight. leaving terrified mothers, fathers, wives, and husbands behind to wonder.

no more wars. no more Unknowns.

for freedom they fought
in Arlington they now rest
known to god above
©️ dt + b
D Thornhill
Written by
D Thornhill
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