Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day, 2010

My father-in-law was a World War II vet. He was a bicycle messenger in London during the Blitz. One day in an antique shop my husband and I found (but alas did not purchase) a complete set of World War II lead soldiers in full battle array. Among the hundred or so tiny lead soldiers was one rather frightened-looking guy who looked like he was riding his bicycle for all he was worth. "That was my dad's job," My husband said. (He also said his father told him he was terrified in his life.)

My husband's dad was also in the second wave at D-Day.

This morning we are all going to the Memorial Day Service at a big city cemetery, in honor of the brave Americans who have died defending the rest of us. Sometimes I look at some of my fellow Americans and wonder why. But I am determined to live with the benefit of the doubt.

This scene is not about American soldiers but British ones. I love how when Alec Guinness turns to face his ragged, defeated remnant he stops hearing mere whistling and instead hears a full military band in all its glory, and his eyes fill with pride at the sight of his men.

Think of our soldiers today, and hear the music. They deserve it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010