Letter: Thank you to all veterans — Semper Fi

Posted 5/30/19

Every cemetery has a wide array of stones and stories as well. It may not be the first thing you’ll notice, but it’s the first thing you’ll feel.

Love is about seeing the beauty …

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Letter: Thank you to all veterans — Semper Fi

Posted

Every cemetery has a wide array of stones and stories as well. It may not be the first thing you’ll notice, but it’s the first thing you’ll feel.

Love is about seeing the beauty in each of life’s passages. Death gives life its meaning, peple, places and things more dear because we know the book of life is brief.

Life, death, human beings and the soul.

Don’t forget, the past can speak to the future. You see, the old pirate adage is wrong; dead men do tell tales.

I remember the first time I realized I was living my whole life in black and white. When I discovered a color I didn’t know existed. How did this happen?

When I met and remained close to veteran from World War I and onward. Each war was a journey into a different — and in some ways not so different era. Their history doesn’t read like history, but the most beautiful lie — which happens to be true.

There are truths to be taken from these buried, “first drafts of history.” Not the least of which is how the future is history. The truth, fact, reality.

There is one reality that you and I share. That we’re connected by this single screwed-up world. There is no such thing as the “melting pot,” even in the United States.

But this country is the finest flower garden the world has ever seen. With races blooming in it as lillies, violets and roses.

Even on the sunniest days my mood can turn cloudy. Because somewhere in their forever young hearts they and I understood that the passage of another “Memorial Day” underscored the reality of their dwindling time with me.

I felt protected in the extended family that they became. I thought they would love forever until — one day — I looked around and realized how many were gone. Still driving by where they once lived, swallowing tears, I still remember what precious gifts they are. And I miss them terribly.

I’ve stored my stash of their stories to treasure for the rest of my life, resurrecting precious recollections.

This “Memorial Day” celebrate the lives of all absent friends. Maybe with the family you’ve got, or the family you chose. Maybe there’s one left or not. And to all veterans still suffering, remember my approach.

Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers represent the quest for self-discovery. And with a bit of courage, heart and brains, you’ll make it. You can believe this quicker than you can say, “Shiver me timbers.”

Thank you to all veterans. Semper Fi.

Ronald Raposa
Bristol

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