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Taps

“When it came time for the man in the denim shirt and white beard to sing Lee Greenwood’s song, the PA system broke down and he belted it out a capella. Sometimes you don’t get accompanied. You just hope somebody stands up next to you.

“The horn from taps sounded far away. The flyover was nowhere in sight. The cannon fired off the salute and it felt almost like closure. We walked past a hundred graves to our cars and the grass was thick, impeding us from speeding on our way. The small flags stood and the carnations lay flat parallel to the bottom edges of each marker. An army private from Oklahoma. A man named Alvarez who died in 1973. Nothing about the order and symmetry of the marble straightens out the road of memory. It goes from history to a personal thought to an assessment of a nation’s sins and sorrows. They say war destroys the things it is fought to preserve. Peace also destroys the memory of what it costs to achieve. So we stand between a clumsy earnest desire for order and the fact that chaos inevitably leads us back into the tragic circle. And we’ll always be prepared, and we’ll never be ready.

“I returned to my truck and the planes flew by. An ancient roar.” == Memorial Day 2018 – Cobb

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