Memorial Day

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First thing Monday morning I got my first cup of coffee and settled in with the newspaper. It didn’t take me too long to look for you. I always do — same time every year, twice a year: Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

I found you again, Gary. You were right there where you always are. There in the “In Memoriam” section: L/CPL Gary McCue, May 8, 1967 in Vietnam, Sadly missed by his family…

Back in ‘67 I was just a teenager and just starting to dream my own life’s dreams. You weren’t that much older than me. I wonder what your dreams were, Gary. What promises went unfulfilled when you died? In your photo I think I can glimpse qualities of heart and mind that made you so special to your family. You seem so earnest and steady. I wonder too about your family. Any brothers, sisters?

I cannot comprehend the depth of your family’s sadness, undiminished after 44 years. I do understand the absolute importance of holding you in memory. Gary, that’s the least, and perhaps the best, I can do for you.

Published in the Star Tribune, Minneapolis, June 2, 2011

Jean Kindem