Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day Observation

I got some neat pictures in my morning email from my friend Richard Sutton. They were in slideshow format as I had a chance to enjoy someone else’s artistic talents. These photographs were prize winning quality studies of nature that permitted my thoughts to ramble.

One of the first pictures was a collage of water droplets caught in stop action mode, the surface of the water from which they had momentarily separated themselves, hovered over and reflected that image; only to return in the blink of an eye was entrancing. I captured those images and then broke them down into four separate individual images and saved them in my picture files; taking one of them and placing it as background wallpaper on my monitor until I find another to take its place.

It’s Memorial Day, a day to reflect on the ultimate sacrifices made by those valiant soldiers in the never ending righteous cause of freedom. Each one of them was a living breathing individual with dreams, desires, hope and fear; no different than any of us who have been provided a chance to achieve our dreams, our desires, hope and a chance to overcome fear.

How easy it might be to overlook one of them; some private first class buried over there on the edge of this massive cemetery we call earth. His marker blending in with the thousands before, his empty shell of a body long since turned to dust, his life cut short while guarding some unknown trench miles from home and those he loved. Did he die from a single bullet in the twinkling of an eye or did his struggle to breathe extend his suffering until his organs gave up? When he died, was there a family to miss him, a wife, a special girl he planned to one day marry and start a family? I have no idea and can only expect that he was not so different than anyone else; except that he died while in the process of defending my right to obtain those same desires.

I was studying the droplet suspended above the surface of the water. It occurred to me that a particular water drop’s momentary individuality was worthy of my attention, the wonderfully intricate display of colors expressed that moment and separated that moment for all time because someone recorded it on film. ( my dictionary lists film as an ancient medium used to capture pictures in the era prior to digital technology )

Ponder those departed spirits, those who have fallen in battle or those who died long after the end of conflicts; the unknown Private First Class, the Master Sergeant, the clerk typist, radio operator, cook’s assistant and every other member of the unified efforts to defeat the enemies of freedom. Were not their lives at least as important as that single drop of water, which was for a moment worthy of our attention, and then was gone from sight?
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