Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The memorial dates from the Civil War, which gave us Memorial Day, so we start there. Some towns have a few names for the Spanish-American War.
Then the World War took more men from town, and added some names to the town monument.
Then World War II did the same, for some towns, a lot of names. A small addendum for the Korean War, another for Vietnam. Here we have one name for the conflict in the Dominican Republic. Not too many people remember our invasion there in 1965, where some 44 Americans were killed.
Some towns have separate monuments for the fallen of separate wars, and some have the names of all the fallen clustered in a small granite and bronze universe, with only a new wreath every summer to mark the time denied them. That their names are permanently fixed here is perhaps more a comfort to us than to them.
More recent wars, and newer plaques, because the need to honor them never diminishes, just as the pain of their loss never fades.