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Old 02-12-2003, 09:35 PM
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It is heartening to see that here in this Forum the two lists of commanders lost during the war are joined together, again, this time in peace and solemn remembrance.
Several years ago during a visit to New York, I stopped by the Museum of Modern Art. There I saw a large gallery taken up with an unusual very large sculpture by a well-known artist named Chris Burden. It most resembled an immense bronze rolodex turned on its side, with enormous "pages" having names engraved on them, which one was free to move through if so inclined. The names on the pages were some number in the several hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese military (north and south) who perished during american efforts in their country. I moved the pages, and felt shock at the numbers.
At one point a man with his wife, perhaps ten years older than me, entered the gallery. When he read the wall text explaining what the sculpture was about, I saw him take his wife by the arm gently causing them both to leave without approaching the art work. I watched them leave, and overheard not what he said to her, but rather the tone of his reasoning...which was a form of repugnance about what they had faced there.
Unbeknownst to most americans, each year a traditional wreath is sent by the current President to remember Confederate soldiers whose lives were given in honorable defense of our nation and constitution. I am not aware of how many Presidents have done so, but am very glad they do.
Perhaps in these small, often silent, ways humanity gradually arrives someday at true peace without war of any kind, and sincere respect from all for those on every side who have fallen at the behest of those who have not?
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