Robin Amy Bass

MEMORIAL DAY, 2005
(A Response)

Tim…

Please know that you are not alone. That being said, perhaps the less you struggle, and the more you examine and embrace these feelings, the sooner they will pass. I don’t know why you are writing. I’m not sure any of us know… but I am glad you are. Obviously you touch chords in many people on this web site… a place to get help… give help… be heard… or just listen.

I read another response… some people do not use words like sacrifice or give… I have never thought of those words, in the context that you use them, as anything except honorable… yet I do understand when a soldier says, “I did what I had to do.” Often, a soldier will say that, about something that to me seems way beyond the call of duty… Heroism and Humility often go hand in hand.

Tonight, after work I was fortunate to go out with my friend Martha to grab some dinner. We met her father who had been in the Marines for 14 years. Martha gave her father a kiss and we talked over slices of Pizza. The reason the subject of the Marines came up was I was wearing a red dress, a matching Marine cap… and a little Marine Pin. Earlier, there had been a small parade near my store. It was clear to me that Martha’s father did not want to go in to detail about his years in The Corps; something about not being to tell me everything anyway…

Martha kept interrupting. Having been a member of the IWVPA, I am sensitive to how people react on certain days and about certain subjects. I know now – that every one’s story IS NOT THE SAME… and yet there are many similarities. I did a lot of listening. Martha’s Father reminded me of another Marine I know. Sometimes, it’s what they don’t say… Martha had confided in me that she grew up hearing, “That’s something you don’t have to know! I can’t tell you anyway.” She learned to read a look in her father’s eyes that told her he was thinking of rougher times. She also told me, she never felt safer than when she walked down the street with her dad. He could spot a wise ass a mile away. I knew exactly what she meant.

Memorial Day weekend… this is the first one I have not looked at as a SALE WEEKEND. It has become a time for me to say Thank You and Welcome Home. I said Welcome Home to a Viet Vet who came into my store today. I said, “Thank You” as I passed some sailors on Liberty Week when I was driving in Manhattan. I smiled when one of the sailors said, “Thank You Blondie! Great Shoes!”

There was an older guy driving in front of me this morning… SO SLOW… I was late for work. I had to sneak out to yet another Bar Mitzvah party… I noticed American flags all over the car. Finally, I drove up alongside him… I rolled the window and motioned… “Vet?” I asked. He nodded. I smiled… “Which War?”… but I didn’t have to ask…

I knew the answer before he said, “The Big One! WWII” You know they are old when they call you Girlie!

I nodded and said have a great day… Thanks for serving… and I let him go in front of me knowing full well I would be 15 minutes late for work… but he deserved to be at the head of the line.

Robin

A Response to “Memorial Day Weekend” ©Copyright May 29, 2005 by Tim Bone