Anthony W. Pahl

CHRISTMAS: AN AUSSIE VIETNAM VETERAN’S PERSPECTIVE

Christmas never fails to engender in me, the pain of the absence of blokes I knew so well – whether it be by death (then or since), distance, or design (wanting to forget).

During this joyous time of family, I suspect that we try to hide and avoid the unique feelings of camaraderie that were present during that one Christmas spent together with the small group of blokes that were our family during those awful days.

Each mate with whom we have lost contact, for whatever reason, creates its own little death, and regardless of the love of family and friends, that little death is permanent. It grows each year as we age, and we cannot help but remember our youth and the time we lived each other’s lives to the full because we were one; life was the unity of the cells that were each of us, and death was closer and louder than a heartbeat…

I console myself in my belief that the wondrous event celebrated on Christmas Day will enable us to meet again on the Bridge of Heroes, form up in line abreast and, to the beat of the massed bands and choirs of the Angels of Heaven, and together, march through the Gates of Eternal Peace.

Author’s Note: Dedicated to my dear friend and brother, Steve Brandenburg, who passed to the Bridge of Heroes on Christmas Day, 2007 and is awaiting my arrival

Anthony W. Pahl
December 26, 2007

This piece prompted the response “… And Other Days” ~ ©Copyright January 8, 2006 by Richard W. Reith