At the Wall 2007 Washington D.C.

“….I was going to head into DC for the 25th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Vietnam Memorial……I will try and paint the picture for you. They say a picture is worth a thousand words…what happens when you have a thousand pictures in your mind that are all poignant, all timeless, all reach into the depths of your soul and portray a thousand lifetimes of pain, grief and sorrow but all you have is words? “…………..

“I get to the Wall. If you have never been….it is hard to describe. The Wall sucks you in. It begins only a few inches tall at the beginning and as you walk along, taking in the names, you become submersed. Time and space are transcended. You are in a wormhole. By the time you reach the middle, you are fully immersed in the names, the death, and the helplessness of it all. You are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of names. You see the trinkets people have left and you realize that each of these names represents a person, who lived a life before it was taken from them too soon. Families have come to mourn them and they come alive. The leave poems, photos, flowers. You mourn as they do when you see the teddy bears and the stories left by people who still miss them decades later. It hasn’t gotten any easier. You see a vet with the quintessential pose—he is on one knee, connecting with his battle buddy by running his fingers along the carving of his name in the shiny black marble……..He is right there…all over again. All around him, people make pencil rubbing of names. Families remember, couples hold hands, tourists take photos of him, but he oblivious to this superfluous commotion. He is there for one reason…….And then he pulls a list from his pocket as he ends his moment of solitude. He has…more names to locate and ……Some vets  this weekend realized that as they age, they will always be here for each other so long as they breathe the same air……………...I hear stories of 19-year old boys and things that they saw and how they sacrificed their lives for us….and they don’t even know us. It is an amazing thing. Happy Veteran’s day to you all. Thank you for listening.

Tanya Holditch


**Tanya Holditch is an individual who took the photos of Rag at the wall.

Rag's Daughter, Rachel Schafer, took these pictures:

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