Monday, December 11, 2006

in Memory of a Fallen Runner

There is nothing sadder than attending a Memorial Service for fallen soldiers in the field. It is hard not to hold your emotions in during the final minutes, it is not the service or the firing of the salute rifles outside the mess, it is the sight of and sound of fellow soldiers and marines on their knees as they reach out and touch the dog tags. It is not a loud sound but the soft sound of two dogs tags touching each other. Two small pieces of metal that contain the heart and soul of a friend.

They played a song that I never have heard before, a country and western ballad “ American Soldier” I do not know who wrote or sang it. It will forever be in my heart, because one of the fallen was a Marine I knew.

A reservist who came here and paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom and liberty. This is not the time or the place to debate the merits of the war here. We all have opinions and thoughts as to the rights and wrongs of what is happening. But for families who have lost sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, know that out here when a comrade falls the entire community weeps with you and your loss is shared all, in the dust and heat, cold and mud they are never forgotten.

When I run my next marathon I will have on my arm the name of a friend who will be remembered because she like me liked to run marathons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to comment on a blog such as this. But it was an important blog, Mr. James. I have heard that song before but never been in the circumstances you were in. Thanks for showing a runners heart to us and teaching us again the important things in life.