Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans from another period

When I visit the Chemung River, I never see it as anything but natural and inviting.  Even on absolutely rotten days, the Chemung welcomes me happily.

I can't help but think about the soldiers who died in the Prisoner of War camp here.  I often walk in the very places where there were miserable men living in appalling conditions.

But it doesn't feel haunted to me.  When I went to Valley Forge, I got a very bad feeling.  Gettysburg is definitely haunted and haunting.  And one of my first eerie sensations came on the shores of Normandy.  I had to return to the bus in tears, spooked.

Why isn't the river haunted?  Perhaps some of the remaining homes are, but the Chemung just keeps rolling along.

I have nothing but feelings of sympathy and gratitute for the Confederate Soldiers.  They were, after all, family men fighting for their families and way of life.  God doesn't ask us to be right, just to believe and do our best for the ones we love.

Or maybe the many floods that have come and gone since the Civil War have washed the river banks clean of our many sins against each other.

I don't know.  I only know that on Veteran's Day and Memorial Day, I remember not only my dear departed and living soldiers, but also those who passed their last hours in my own hometown.

Little Pond

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