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I stood staring in awe as my gaze settled upon a black granite wall of memories.
As I stood there not a muscle in my body twitched, except for the rhythmic beating of my weary heart.
Before me, a great wall, with the names of Fathers, Sons, Brothers, Daughters; Soldiers; Heroes… carved in stone. As I looked at the granite I saw behind it. A scene of tangled jungles, mud covered boots, people crying, as their lives came to an unwritten end. On the ground I saw the bodies of fallen soldiers, bloody and cold from death. In my heart I felt their pain and fear, which lingered in their unforgotten souls.
In my mind I could see them standing around me, in what was left of their tiger-striped tattered camouflage. Blood covered, dirty calluses had formed on their hands, and memories of home were lost in the emptiness of their stares.
I saw beside me the American Flag, still and unmoving in the bustling air. I shivered at the eerie sight. Suddenly, I felt that I wasn’t alone, as though I were in the presence of a soldier; I paused, not believing in my feelings. A chill went down my spine as I felt a touch on my shoulder. I turned to see a woman; a mother, with tears in her eyes, reading the name of her son. At that moment I realized that the soldiers have not been forgotten. They live on in our hearts: then, now, and forever.
As I turned to leave, I hesitated; looked back at the wall and said aloud, “Thank You”, and I swear I heard a voice carried on the wind whisper… “Never Forget”.