Monday, May 20, 2013

Memoir Monday ~ Always Hope: The Soldier in the Snapshot

Seventy years ~ passed
black, white,  crinkled, curled
He is rail thin, 
wrapped in grey and metal helmetted.
Smiling, smiling.
Duty bound
And honor bound, this enlisted man
Who crossed the vast blue Pacific
Who left his life for five long years
Did he think this was the last to be snapped of him?
Or was he hopeful and assured of his return?
His country's victory?
Did he know it would be cherished so?
That it would  grace for infinite hours 
the cracked wood table
 on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn?
  That his Mother's trembling hands would not put it down?
That she would gingerly place it on the 
Christmas tree she insisted would grace the corner of this kitchen until July when he was granted leave?
That it would be gazed upon by her worried eyes?
Loving eyes?
Burnt out buildings, decaying huts, palm fronds,
 The quiet embattled beauty of this Pacific country 
graces the backdrop.

"My Manila," he'd say
He forever wished to go back
To see with non-war eyes the people
No, no longer seeing their gratitude to the Americans, 
to the Army Infantry with which he fought,
 That he wished not to see any longer....
No, he wished to witness their  strength, their pride
Their independence.
For that is why he joined the fight.
And it haunted him always....:
This unfairness and  suppression.
This brutal, irrational
need for dominance, power.
These reasons the world erupted in war in his 20s.
.... when America was still so young itself.
My Dad is this soldier
 and I gaze on this same photo that gave hope to 
For she left this Earth three months exactly 
before I entered 
and two decades after she first held the photo.
And he could never speak of her or think of her 
without teary eyes
He bore wounds, yes.
For the scars of the victors run deep
And stay forever.

Memorial Day approaches.
Let us never forget its true meaning.

And  my boys, sixty five years later, 
sitting on the  ridge of the World War II Memorial 
in DC honoring the soldiers who saw battle in the Pacific Theater:

if you're interested in dusting off something from the archives.

I'm happy to link this to Allison's #worthrevisit linky.
THANK YOU Allison!

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

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Until next time,



  1. I hope I linked in the right place! I love your memoir enhanced even more by the approaching Memorial Day weekend ahead. God bless our families and those men and now women who give so unselfishly for our benefit. xoxoxo Denise

    1. Thank you Denise, for linking this week; I always love your refections.

      Headed to your post now.

      And yes, God bless them all. We owe them everything

  2. So beautiful, Chris. It had me in tears. I, too, held a picture close when my husband was off to war, so this post touches my heart in a very special way. God bless you, friend.

  3. Dear Chris, thanks to your dad for fighting in the Philippines during WWII. The Americans left a lasting legacy in the Philippines, setting up hospitals, schools, road systems, and bringing the English language. The Philippines now has the highest English literacy in Asia, with international call centers contributing to a large part of the economy. After the war, the Philippines was given the choice to become a US state, but we chose independence.Thanks again to your Dad for the role he played in our history.

  4. Replies
    1. Ultreya, I just visited your blog and read your post...left a lengthy message...

      Your comment is the most meaningful and thought provoking one I have ever read or received. You have no idea how touching I find it.

      Thanks for linking up and for your lovely words.

    2. Dear Chris,

      How blessed you are to have had such a special relationship with your dad. And how blessed he was to have such a loving and devoted family. Perhaps one day, you and your family can visit the Philippines. Do you know what parts of the country your dad spent time in? It is a developing country, and as such it is not perfect, but I hope that your dad would have been proud to see what it has become.

    3. << I hope that your dad would have been proud to see what it has become.>>
      Ultreya, that's what's missing in my reflection..... the pride that he DID have for the country and the people. He;s been gone for 20 years now, but he always held affection for your people and their individuality and independence...yes for him and for all the servicemen to be able to see your beautiful county again definitely would have filled them with pride.
      He was around the Leyte Gulf area as far as I know.
      Thank you for taking the time to stop in and leave a note, Ultreya; it's been amazing "talking" with you, friend....

  5. What a lovely post - I'm such a fan of those who have served and their commitment to our country! Thank you for sharing this! I appreciate you letting us come and sit a spell at your blog - thank you for providing this haven for us!

    1. Rebekah, thank YOU for linking your encouraging reflection as well....

      Your comment made my day, friend.

  6. Chris,

    "That she would gingerly place it on the Christmas tree she insisted would grace the corner of this kitchen until July when he was granted leave?" You say so much with just a few words. This really is a beautiful memoir.

    Thank you for sharing your dad with us.

    God bless!

    1. Sue
      Thank YOU for stopping in and for your lovely comment.
      <> these words are perfect...thanks, friend....


  7. What a touching post! I wish I had something to contribute to the hop! Thanks for linking this up to Friendship Friday.

    1. Sylvia
      You DO...and you SHOULD link...anything that is a memory, however large or small.
      Join us!
      Thanks for the kind words!

  8. Just beautiful! It is so easy to forget. Thank you for the reminder. I visited from Living Well Wed. & am glad that I did!

    1. Thank you so very much for the kind words!
      God bless...:)

  9. Nice post...and many others thought so too! You won the Big Click Awards over at the Catholic Bloggers Network for May!

    1. How exciting, Monica!!

      Thank you for delivering the wonderful news!!


  10. This is my first time visit to you blog from Alabaster Jar's Monday Link Up. Love your site, Chris. And what a touching tribute to your dad. Thanks for letting us add our heart memories. Blessings...

    1. Thank you so much, Sheila and thanks for gracing the Memoir Monday link up with your beautiful words.

      It is an honor to have you share your heartfelt writing!
      Looking fwd to getting to know you through teh blogosphere!

  11. As the wife of a retired career soldier, I found this a very sweet tribute...thoughtful, poignant...a loving memory to your grandmother and father.
    Bless you.

    1. Gail
      Thank you so much for your kind really does mean a lot that you stopped by and were so thoughtful.

      Heading to your blog now to visit.:)

  12. Thanks for linking up Chris! Loved this post!


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