The small and gentle touch of delicate fingers faintly but irresistibly call me to the Wall.  I recall in the year past, which seems so long ago when my mom, wife and son came and called me to this same Wall.  Even after all this time, the dewdrops on the Wall still remind me of the tears of happiness that I shed that day.

Today, the call is not quite as strong and as I near the Wall, I can see a small child and woman kneeling by the Wall and touching my name that is forever engraved into this cold black granite.  As I move slowly and hesitantly towards the Wall, I think that this must be some kind of mistake.  I near and hear the child mention something to the effect of “grand-dad” and I instantly think, "Could this be my son's wife with my grand-child?"

The feelings of a year's past suddenly return as I look into the face of my grand child and daughter in law.  Time has passed, life carries on and the emotions are again awakened that have not yet been forgotten.

I long to hold and cherish the delicate body of my grand child.  I long to hug and thank my daughter in law for allowing me the time to share in their world.  I long to be able to ask questions, share emotions or just for a moment experience a loving touch that does not have to shared by a wall of granite.  My destiny denies all of these longings but I am still grateful for these short visits with the “real” world.

I am still able to feel the delicate little fingers through the cold stone.  And as she reaches for her Mom, a combined force between the three of us, sends a message of love and the other side of the wall grows slick with the dampness of my tears, that are only considered coming from the humidity in the air.  The frustration of not being able to physically touch this new part of my family is overwhelming but I'm still grateful that I've been allowed to share even this much. I am only hopeful that children such as this one will realize the true meaning of war and the effects of having known of someone that had participated…

...I am not forgotten as so many others that stand along with me behind this Wall.

I yell and bring attention to myself,

..... "WE ARE NOT FORGOTTEN" .....

These are our grandchildren and they REMEMBER with the help of those that shared and have suffered the effects of Vietnam and our plight to keep the memories alive.

..... "COME ALL!" .....

and see the next generation that will REMEMBER as we THANK THEM FOR REMEMBERING.  Let us rejoice and make "Old Glory", our proud Stars and Stripes stand straight out and proclaim our allegiance and Support for our Nation that we sacrificed so much for………

I hesitantly go back to my place as my daughter in law and grandchild prepare to leave and can only pray that the coming year will bring me and so many others the assurances that we have not been forgotten, ...

... and again our gathering numbers repeat over and over again ...

..... "Thanks for Remembering" .....

..... "Thanks for Remembering" .....

until our next meeting.

Patrick "Beanie" Camunes

D/4/31 196th Lt Inf Bde
Tay Ninh 12/66 - 4/67 : Tam Ky 4/67 - 12/67

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