Memorial Day: Growing Up in West Virginia

Eidos | 5/26/2018 | Staff
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Memorial Day in West Virginia was about veterans or at least that is how I remember the day. I was too little to think of “days off.” Summer is a day off when you are a kid: the longest, sweetest day of all.

A healthy fact about my childhood was that cemeteries were a living place. We went there often to decorate graves, to clean tombstones, and to walk. The first time I went to London, my childhood intervened and I visited a graveyard. This was perfect. I saw centuries of London in stone in one place with no crowds and all the time I needed to reflect.

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There must have been living World War I veterans, but the men I recall were from the War. That was World War II and they were younger then than I am now. They were confident in the justice of their cause, as they should have been. They were quiet, not given to boasting, and they were manly.

I don’t have anything to add to this, but that knowing men like my cousin Paul (D-Day, German POW, hero) was good. Nobody ever told me America was perfect. We were West Virginians: almost heaven, but not yet paradise.

Just so.

That flawed American hero, John MacCain writes:

Act - Rights - City - Hill - Worthier

Often the very act of supporting human rights overseas compels us to make our own “shining city upon a hill” worthier of...
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