“Lieutenant Colonel Maddox.”
“Lieutenant Colonel Walls.”
“Lieutenant Colonel Walls.” The voice echoes through the silence of the Memorial Chapel.
“Lieutenant Colonel Walls.” Now, with an annoyance in each syllable like the sound of a teachers voice calling for a child skipping class.
“Lieutenant Colonel Walls.” The voice from the back of the sanctuary announces the name one last time and I can hear tears coming through the Sergeant Major sounding off roll call. Breaking the somber silence a solo bugle player belts out the notes in Taps as we stare at the fallen Marine’s picture, a pair of boots, an M16 propped up with his Kevlar on top and his flak jacket with his subdued field rank displayed on the chest. The scene is something out of a movie, only it’s real. This is all too real for me
I did not know this man. This Marine. This Father. This son. This Husband. This Friend. But now I am at his memorial. I wanted to pay my respects to a fellow Marine killed by a roadside bomb.
For a moment I think that I came to the memorial for the wrong reasons, or maybe just my own reasons. I came because I wanted to feel something. Pain or sorrow or sympathy – anything but a growing disdain for this war. Anything but this nagging oncoming of nothingness. This apathy towards life.
I listen to the words of those who worked with him.
“Being a Marine, a leader, wasn’t just a job – it was a way of life.” I can’t help but internalize the words of these strangers. I zone out as I picture my own memorial. I try to imagine what people would say about me.
“He is survived by his wife and four children.” The chaplain announces to the somber room. Nobody would survive me. I don’t...