Friday, April 8, 2011

Photo Friday: Remembering Mal

April 1st is an anniversary long forgotten by most. This year marked the 66th anniversary of the initial landing (invasion) of Okinawa by the United States. This time of year is always difficult for my father. During WWII, it was close to this date that he lost his best friend. Mal died aboard a ship, off of a little known island. But he wasn't alone. My father held him as he died. Although we don't know the exact date of his death, April 1st marks it none-the-less.

The night before the anniversary, my father had a terrible, war-related nightmare. So, to remember Mal, I took him some flowers. He said it is the first time anybody's ever given HIM flowers. I chose white carnations because they are a symbol of remembrance. Before leaving, I took one from the bunch and stood it in the grass at the base of the flagpole in my parent's front yard. The next time I saw it, my father had made a makeshift vase for the flowers and duct-taped it to the pole. A fitting tribute, I think. Nothing is perfect in war and neither is it for those who return from war with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. A duct-taped plastic cup was exactly right.

Even all these years later, Mal is not forgotten.

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