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There are many poems, short stories, essays and documentaries on the web. But none that I have read have touched me or those around me as this ONE has. I hope you stop what you are doing...and read this. it is guarenteed to make you think...wonder....pray...and maybe even cry. I hope you enjoy this! This page is in honor of my father-in-law, Rich and my husbands grandfather, George! We Love you guys!

FROM THE OTHER SIDE

 
By Patrick Camunes

   "There are so many things that are written about the Wall but never  anything of being on the other side. I was inspired by the picture  Reflections that I use as wallpaper on my PC and a recent story,  Autumn Wall."
   

At first there was no place for us to go until someone put up that  Black Granite Wall.  Now, everyday and night, my Brothers and my  Sisters wait to see the many people from places afar file in front of  this Wall.  Many stopping briefly and many for hours and some that  come on a regular basis. It was hard at first, not that it's gotten  any easier, but it seems that many of the attitudes towards that war  that we were involved in have changed. I can only pray that the ones  on the other side have learned something and more Walls as this one  needn't be built.

   

Several members of my unit and many that I did not recognize have  called me to the Wall by touching my name that is engraved upon it.  The tears aren't necessary but are hard even for me to hold back.  Don't feel guilty for not being with me, my Brothers. This was my  destiny as it is yours, to be on that side of the Wall.

   

Touch the Wall, my Brothers, so that we can share in the memories  that we had.  I have learned to put the bad memories aside and  remember only the pleasant times that we had together.  Tell our other Brothers  out there to come and visit me, not to say Good Bye but    to say Hello  and be together again, even for a short time and to ease that pain of  loss that we all share.

   

Today, an irresistable and loving call comes from the Wall. As I  approach I can see an elderly lady and as I get closer I recognize  her.......It's Momma!  As much as I have looked forward to this day,  I have also regretted it because I didn't know what reaction I would  have.

   

Next to her, I suddenly see my wife and immediately think how hard it  must have been for her to come to this place and my mind floods with  the  pleasant memories of 30 years past.  There's a young man in a military  uniform standing with his arm around her......My God!......It's...it  has to be my son.  Look at him trying to be the man without a tear in  his eye.  I yearn to tell him how proud I am, seeing him standing  tall, straight and proud in his uniform.

   

Momma comes closer and touches the Wall and I feel the soft and  gentle touch I had not felt in so many years.  Dad has crossed to this  side of the Wall and through our touch, I try to convey to her that  Dad is doing fine and is no longer suffering or feeling pain.  I see  my wife's courage building as she sees Momma touch the Wall and she  approaches and lays her hand on my waiting hand.  All the emotions,  feelings and memories of three decades past flash between our touch  and I tell her that it's all right.  Carry on with your life and don't  worry about me......I can see as I look into her eyes that she hears  and understands me and a big burden has been lifted from her.

   

I watch as they lay flowers and other memories of my past.  My lucky  charm that was taken from me and sent to her by my CO, a tattered and  worn teddy bear that I can barely remember having as I grew up as a  child and several medals that I had earned and were presented to my  wife.  One of them is the Combat Infantry Badge that I am very proud  of and I notice that my son is also wearing this medal.  I had earned  mine in the jungles of Vietnam and he had probably earned his in the  deserts of Iraq.

   

I can tell that they are preparing to leave and I try to take a  mental picture of them together, because I don't know when I will see  them again.  I wouldn't blame them if they were not to return and can  only thank them that I was not forgotten.  My wife and Momma near the  Wall for one final touch and so many years of indecision, fear and  sorrow are let go.  As they turn to leave I feel my tears that had not  flowed for so many years, form as if dew drops on the other side of  the Wall.

   

They slowly move away with only a glance over their shoulder.  My son  suddenly stops and slowly returns.   He stands straight and proud in  front of me and snaps a salute.   Something makes him move to the Wall  and he puts his hand upon the Wall and touches my tears that had  formed on the face of the Wall and I can tell that he senses my  presence there and the pride and the love that I have for him.  He  falls to his knees and the tears flow from his eyes and I try my best  to reassure him that it's all right and the tears do not make him any  less of a man.

   

As he moves back wiping the tears from his eyes, he silently mouths,  God Bless you, Dad......   God Bless, YOU, Son......  We WILL meet  someday but in the meanwhile, go on your way......  There is no  hurry.......There is no hurry at all.

   

As I see them walk off in the distance, I yell out to THEM and  EVERYONE there today, as loud as I can,.........THANKS FOR  REMEMBERING and as others on this side of the Wall join in, I notice  that the US Flag that so proudly flys in front of us everyday, is  flapping and standing proudly straight out in the wind  today..................................THANK YOU ALL FOR REMEMBERING........



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