Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Thinking of Daddy

Yesterday, August 31st, for some unknown reason, I went to Napster, signed in and started looking around for some music to listen to during writing. At first I found Ed Ames ("Mingo" of the Daniel Boone series and the second man I ever had a serious crush on in my young years). His baritone/bass voice filled the house as he sang of love and, my utmost favorite "They Call the Wind Maria". I guess, in many ways, I'm feeling nostalgic.

I even looked Ed Ames up on the 'Net and found out he is still alive, 77 years old, and still singing and performing. That was a shock in a really good kind of way. (I wonder where I could episodes of the old Daniel Boone series at?...)

As I was listening, something on Napster caught my eye: Fighting Songs of the US Service Fields. I clicked it and listened. Ssgt. Barry Sadler boomed out the song about the Green Berets, and then followed song after song for Marines, Air Force, and Army and then came on "The Yellow Rose of Texas."

That was Daddy's favorite song. It was a song he would stop and listen to. I couldn't find out what branch or regiment it was the song for, but it made me begin to wonder and think if it was the fight song for him in World War II.

Men's voices filled the house, shaking my soul with their resonance and harmony. Eventually my eyes filled with tears to over-flowing and they spilled out onto my cheeks and finally my dress. They weren't sad tears really, just, well, sort of lonely ones.

So much any more makes me think of Daddy, and Mommy. It is probably because Daddy passed so recently I am thinking so much of him. Sometimes I believe it would be wonderful to just run away to the past and be able to tell him just one more time how much I love and admire him - one more time before the Alzheimer's took over, one more time when he would know it was the truth and how much I meant it.

In my memories I see the vibrant healthy man that made me laugh. I remember his crooked smile and his fierce temper. I remember him filled with everything I grew up believing a man should be, was supposed to be.

As the songs continued to play my mind drifted to the men and women over-seas currently dying for something that may or may not be right, and it startled me. Something had to be done after 9/11, true, but was it as carefully researched as it should have been to make sure we were attacking the right enemy? Did the soldiers die needlessly?

In World War II there was an easy answer to that question: the men died to save the world's freedom.

Now, more than ever, I believe myself to be a patriot, not because I question any governmental decision, but because, regardless of what is happening, I will stand behind the fighting men and women of this nation. Now, more than ever, I believe they need our support, respect, and our communication.

America is in the process of "saving face" if you will in this war and the fighting men (and women) are regaining that face with their lives. We should not look down upon them for doing what they have been ordered to do, instead, we should encourage them to think and to keep notes, so that when they return home, their stories will be available for all to hear, read, see; so that, if this is a mistake, it is never made again. And, if it is warranted, we have true heroic stories to fuel our love for the armed forces and all who join them - it will be their legacy left to the world about yet another war in humanity's history.

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