Author Debuts Three Short Stories

My Life in the Three Rs

Who remembers when reading, writing, and arithmetic once made up the public education curriculum? My phonetic Rs are reading, research, and writing. I can’t imagine any serious writer of any merit getting along without them. It’s been that way for me since I committed myself to gainful employment as a writer—first as a newspaper reporter, then as a technical writer, then as a copywriter. And now I’m a pro bono fiction writer. Luckily, I’m retired.

Deathbed Promise

For your reading pleasure, I have posted three short stories. The first one, Deathbed Promise, will appear in a book anthology before the end of this year published by the St. George chapter of the League of Utah Writers. So, where’s the novel you ask? It’s joined the thousands of “proverbial novels in draws” if the authors wrote theirs before computers, or like mine, it rests quietly on my computer hard drive.

Meanwhile, I’ve elected to earn my chops in short fiction. Oh, I’ll continue to write nonfiction, but I’ll spend most of whatever writing I have left in my life writing fiction. In terms of length, a novella falls within short fiction.

A Moment In Time & Santa In OD Green

I said three short stories. A Moment In Time and Santa In OD Green are two and three, respectively. Did I mention I read a lot? Among the books I read are books on history. A 1918 event in history inspired me to write A Moment In Time. Of course, while based on facts, my story is historical fiction.

I wrote Santa In OD Green to submit to a writer’s short prose competition. The prize payouts to winners run $10 up to a whopping $25. Hahaha! Everyone knows fiction writers shouldn’t give up their day jobs. The entry deadline is November 1, 2023. I’ll let you know if I collect any greenbacks.

Deathbed Promise

Reece Adler must fulfill a promise and face the loss of his proxy father, R.J. “Mac” Macauley, an unsung Vietnam War veteran who nurtured Reece to manhood. He struggles with grief until he finds a spiritual message in the promise Mac asks Reece to make.

A Moment In Time

Soldier Reece Adler left his outfit in Germany on a five-day leave to Paris. En route, he visits the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau Wood, where a fierce World War One battle occurred between US Marines and German soldiers. An unexpected stranger shows up and gives Reece an account of what happened on the first day of the battle.

Santa In OD Green

American soldiers stationed in 1968 in the small town of Idar-Oberstein in Germany have their Christmas Eve Party interrupted. They join a search party to find a missing six-year-old boy.

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Shakespeare, “Soul of the Ages”

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely Players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His Acts being seven ages.”—As You Like It

Shakespeare, “Soul of the Ages”

Behold! Who dreams in this troubled slumber? Ah, ’tis a scrivener lost in thought. He reads too much of the nonsense writings of others concerning William Shakespeare, a man I knew well.

Hark thee now. His youngest brother Edward, my eldest brother Cuthbert, and I belonged to the same company of London actors. Amidst our troupe, Shakespeare and I were shareholders in Blackfriars and  The Globe, where I played Julius Caesar in 1599. This would later lead me to play Hamlet, my signature role.  Could it be true that my characterization of Hamlet still influences the actors who play him today? Alas! I digress from my purpose: clearing the untruths and confusion from thy thoughts.

Prithee, allow thy mind to imagine Will’m if you will—Did I make a pun? Ah! I overindulge myself. When the cock crows at dawn, I must begone.

John and William Shakespeare, Ambitious Men

William was the eldest son of John and Mary (née Arden) Shakespeare. An ambitious man, his father improved his social rank through hard work as a maker of leather goods, such as the stylish gloves of my day. He hawked his wares on Thursdays at the local market in Stratford. Eventually, he became prominent in Stratford, serving officially at civic affairs and guild meetings.

As the eldest, Will was expected to pick up his father’s trade. Yet, unbeknownst to his father, his son nurtured other aspirations for himself. But to his credit, he lent himself to his father’s craft for a time.

William Shakespeare Married Anne Hathaway

At 18, William married Anne Hathaway in 1582 from the nearby village of Shottery. He walked the mile and a half to her village to court her. Her father, Richard, was a yeoman farmer. It should come as no surprise that the Hathaway and Shakespeare families were acquainted. Although William never said so openly, I surmised the fathers had more to do with arranging the marriage than the locals knew.

Anne was 26, eight years older than her future husband, and carried his child. Was it not one of your countrymen who advised men to marry older women? Across the centuries, people made much ado about nothing. Tongues wagged like the tail of an excited dog. So, countless hearsay arose over her age and pre-marriage pregnancy.

Shakespeare Manifests His Love for Anne

Free thy mind of these rumors and chatter, for I say Will loved Anne. She bore him three children: Susanna and the twins Hamnet and Judith. For her, he erected New Place, an imposing house—the second-largest in Stratford. It had ten chimneys and thirty rooms. Neither Will nor Anne had much time to themselves. How could he possibly have lived a supposed libertine lifestyle in London?

His evenings were consumed with writing with a quill pen by candlelight. He wrote thirty-seven plays, 154 sonnets, and two narrative poems during his lifetime. And his days, they afforded him even less time. Shakespeare filled them with stage performances, directing, rehearsals, investing money in theaters, buying land in Stratford, and caring for Anne, the children, his siblings, and aged parents.

In addition to his plays and the insights their characters revealed of human nature on the stage, his contributions to the English language remain unmatched in the history of literature. And it should also be noted that he had an enterprising spirit for words and business. I always said he inherited his ambitious drive from his father.

Salacious Rumors Surrounded Anne

And what of the alleged indiscretions ascribed to Anne? Forget them. They were baseless rumors that sullied her good name. She filled her daily life with chores: She managed the household diligently—overseeing its maintenance, cooking, nurturing three children, and attending to William’s family. As a child of a farm family, hard work and long days were no strangers to Anne. And she harbored ambitions akin to William’s. She ran cottage industries at New Place under her guidance. In her epitaph to her mother, Susanna hailed her as a priceless gift.

I sense the cock’s about to crow. And lo, the dawn breaks. I should impart more, such as the enigma of the “second best bed” and William’s omission of Anne from his will. Perchance, I’ll visit thee in another dream.
Farewell, scrivener! Consider these parting words: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” —Twelfth Night.

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Folktales, Oral and Written Tales Told by Folks

Folktales Predate Methuselah

I can’t pinpoint when, but I’ve long been interested in folktales, fables, and fairy tales. To say children everywhere heard oral tales recited or their written versions read to them may be a stretch. Yet, folktales exist in Western and Eastern cultures. They are free spirits, ever-growing, and changing in time and space. They are older than Methuselah.

Why do I enjoy them? Folktales come from the soul of common people, are told by them, handed down like heirlooms from parents to their children, and passed on from generation to generation. And folktales cross geographical boundaries freely without prejudice or malice. They are entertaining, often with a moral bent. And yet they also let “the folk” vent their dislikes of corrupt higher-ups in the voices of animal characters.

Folktales Go Wherever Folks Live

Folktales surround continents like oceans—from India to countries in the Middle East, to countries in Western Europe, to the United Kingdom, and across the Atlantic to the Americas. They intermingle and dress accordingly. They change not only settings and their place of origin but also from the past to the present while retaining their simple narrative. And more than anything else, their fluidity and adaptability separate them from fables, fairy tales, and myths.

One folktale character entered my life at an early age. His name is Giufà, which in the old Sicilian language means village fool. Here’s a tale of that folk character.

Giufa carries the door he pulled from its hinges.


“Giufà, Pull the Door!”

One day, before Giufà’s mother went to church, she told her son, “Giufà, I’m going to mass. Take care, and after I close the door, make sure you pull it.” As soon she left, Giufà went to the door and began to pull it. He pulled and pulled so hard that it came off the hinges. He carried the door on his back and went to the church to bring it to his mother. “Here’s the door you told me to pull.”

Discovering Giufà

I share a dual heritage­—German and Sicilian. My mother’s parents immigrated from Sicily at the turn of the nineteenth century. And like most immigrants, they brought more than their personal belongings in their luggage. They brought their culture and their way of life.

My mother had two sisters who were born in Sicily. So it’s from my Aunt Josephine (Giuseppina); I first heard about Giufà. And as I said, it means village fool. But in usage, it portrays a childish, gullible, or clownish guy.

Giufà popped into my Aunt’s conversations when she referred to someone who acted foolishly, usually a younger brother or neighbor. And she called me Giufà once or twice because, as a curious five-year-old, I opened a can of lard and smeared it in my hair and face before anyone noticed.

On another occasion, I climbed a ladder my grandfather left against his storage shed. I stomped around on its flimsy metal roof, almost giving my grandmother a heart attack when she saw me.

Giufà Arrives in Sicily

Folktales have a history of transforming themselves in several ways. They travel with the teller of the tale, and they sometimes change. The character of Giufà has origins in Turkey (formerly Anatolia).

the origins of Giufa are not entirely Sicilian… the inspiration for this character derives from… Nasreddin Khoja, a man who probably existed at the beginning of the eleventh century in Anatolia (now Turkey). He was a well-known teacher in the Arab world, whose name changed from Hoca to Khoja, from Khoja to Djuha, and from Djuha to Jusuf, from which the current Giufà.”

Photo Credit: Sicilian Post

How did that come about? The Saracens (Arab Muslims or Moors) ruled Sicily from 831 until 1061, a period of two hundred and fifty years. The first Arab settlement in Sicily occurred at Mazara in 827.

On March 26, 2011, a story entitled “Giufa’s Judgement” appeared in the San Angelo News. Here’s the first paragraph. To read the full folktale, click on the link. Under photo credits, I see the word “adapted.” So I wonder how much this narrative departs from the original folktale.

Photo Credit: San Angelo News

“Once upon a time a mother sent her son, the young fool whose name was Giufa, out into the woods to gather herbs. Giufa set off full of spirit, and all day long he picked rosemary and basil and thyme. He worked so long, filling his bag to the brim, that by the time he was heading for home, the sun had set.”

What I find so intriguing about folktales is their longevity and adaptability. They predate manuscripts and books. They’ve survived centuries, and they remain popular. And when I consider the novels, plays, and movies folktales have inspired, it’s almost like reading a tale within a folktale.

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Mia Yearns for Adventure Outside Her Village

Ancient Forest image

Once upon a time, a young woman named Mia lived in a village at the edge of an ancient forest. Its bounty sustained life in the village. And even though Mia enjoyed its comforts, she felt restless and unfulfilled. She yearned for adventure and a life beyond the confines of her peaceful village.

One day while foraging in the forest, Mia stumbled upon an old, tattered map. It showed a trail that led deep into the woods and marked a spot only as “The Lost City.” It intrigued Mia. She had heard stories of such a city, of its riches and secrets, but no one in her village had ever been brave enough to venture there.

She knew that this was her chance. So she gathered her things and set out into the forest, following the Lost City trail on the map. The journey would be long and arduous, but undeterred, Mia set out. She faced many challenges along the way—wild beasts, rugged terrain, and iffy weather—but she persevered, driven only by her desire to reach the Lost City.

Mia Finds the Lost City

After many days of travel, she finally arrived at the Lost City, an ancient, sprawling metropolis with crumbling ruins. People believed lost treasures lay hidden in the city. She uncovered many secrets as she explored the city—hidden passageways, secret rooms, and ancient artifacts. But as she delved deeper into the city, Mia sensed she was not alone as eyes watched her every move.

Bandits had also discovered the Lost City. They plundered its riches. When she realized that, Mia knew that she had to stop them. How? She didn’t know because she had never been in a fight. Still, she’d find a way to protect the Lost City’s treasures.

Mia outfoxed the bandits. She watched them and their movements and gathered intelligence. She learned they had an influential leader, a ruthless woman named Ravenna, feared by her followers, but not Mia. She knew she had to confront Ravenna if Mia wanted to end the plundering.

She approached Ravenna’s stronghold, a forbidding fortress at the city’s heart. She knew she was taking a significant risk, but she was determined to stop the bandits and protect the treasures of the Lost City. So she entered the fortress and challenged Ravenna.

Mia Battles Ravenna

The two women faced off, tense and ready for battle. Mia knew she was outmatched because Ravenna was a skilled fighter. Yet Mia refused to back down. Instead, she drew her sword and prepared for the fight of her life.

The battle was long and grueling. Mia and Ravenna fought with all their strength, each determined to emerge victorious. But in the end, Ravenna made a fatal error that afforded an opening. Mia struck a death blow. With Ravenna defeated, the plundering of the Lost City ended.

Mia returned to her village a hero. Her bravery amazed the villagers, and her stories of the treasures she saw in the Lost City held them spellbound. She had achieved her dream of adventure and excitement but also learned something important about herself.

In time she became a legend in her village. She continued to explore the world, seeking out new adventures and challenges. But no matter where she went, she always remembered the lessons she had learned on her journey to the Lost City—that courage, determination, and willingness to take risks made adventure possible.

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Will Rogers Became Big Celebrity

Will Rogers Made Americans Laugh

Will Rogers became one of the best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s. He had a talent for concise and clever remarks. He’d poke fun at gangsters, political parties, Congress, and hot topics of his time in an unoffending manner.

During his life, Rogers was the number-one radio personality, the biggest box office draw, and the most-read newspaper columnist.

He learned how to ride a horse and do rope tricks while growing up on a ranch in what would become the state of Oklahoma. So he wound up performing in Wild West shows in the United States.

His moniker eventually became the Cowboy Philosopher because his pithy comments held a pearl of Western wisdom.

Here are three examples.

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like. —Will Rogers

The short memories of American voters is what keeps our politicians in office. —Will Rogers

There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’g. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. —Will Rogers.

He said his epitaph should read: “‘I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I didn’t like.'”

He said he was proud of that and wanted it on his gravestone. 

Will Rogers ImageWill Rogers

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Celebrate American Independence

Image of the Declaration of Independence

I find historical events related to the Declaration of Independence interesting. They occurred at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776 and during the American Revolutionary War.

The Lee Resolution (known as the Resolution of Independence), put forth on June 7, 1776, by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, is considered the earliest text proclaiming the separation of the Thirteen Colonies from England. Congress first asked Lee to draft a declaration of independence, but he declined. He said he was already involved with drafting the Articles of Confederation and caring for a sick wife.

So the Second Continental Congress appointed a committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson would be its principal author on the committee. Other committee members included Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Robert Livingston. Coincidentally, Jefferson said no when asked to write the committee’s draft but eventually relented to John Adam’s persistence.

John Hancock was the first and only one to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4. Other delegates signed it by August 2. Matthew Thornton of New Hampshire was the last to sign on November 4.

On July 4, 1826, the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, two members of the drafting committee, who also served as US Presidents, died within five hours of each other: John Adams, our second president, and Thomas Jefferson, our third president.

Independence Came at a High Cost

Here are diary passages of American Colonial soldiers. Private Joseph Martin wrote one of the most grizzly and gripping passages I read. I grew up in a northern climate with snow, ice, and cold temperatures. I can’t imagine how anyone suffered those conditions marching barefoot because they lacked footwear. Some soldiers wrapped rags around their feet. Human skin splits and bleeds when exposed to ice and frigid cold for long.

Almost every one has heard of the soldiers of the Revolution being tracked by the blood of their feet on the frozen ground. This is literally true, and the thousandth part of their sufferings has not, nor ever will be told. —Diary of Private Joseph Plumb Martin

I am Sick – discontented – and out of humour. Poor food – hard lodging – Cold Weather – fatigue – Nasty Cloaths – nasty Cookery – Vomit half my time – smoak’d out my senses – the Devil’s in’t – I can’t Endure it – Why are we sent here to starve and Freeze. — Albigence Waldo, Diary of a Surgeon at Valley Forge 1777

 Bloody Footprints

Some Continental Army soldiers’ bare and bandaged feet left blood trails on the cold ground at Valley Forge in December 1777. General William Alexander reported the troops’ condition days before they arrived at Valley Forge this way:

“A long fatiguing Campaign already wears them out, a Considerable part of them [are] in the Hospitals, …one half of those in Camp, are almost naked, and are walking barefooted on the Ice or frozen Ground.”

As you eat your grilled hot dog or hamburger, as you stand watching a parade, or sit at your lake cabin comfortably with family and friends, or arch your neck to watch fireworks explode in the sky, please reflect for a moment on the sacrifices that an earlier generation made for us.

Happy Fourth of July! Or “Independence Day,” as John Adams called it.

It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. —John Adams, The Letters of John and Abigail Adams

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Adam Surprises Black Bear While Hiking

Adam Faces Down Black Bear in the Wild

Yosemite National Park

Adam, a wildlife guardian, tightened the straps of his backpack and adjusted his hat, preparing for a day of adventure in Yosemite National Park. Because he was trained in wildlife sciences, the national and state parks hired him as a for-hire lecturer and trail guide. An experienced hiker and naturalist, Adam cherished the solitude and beauty of the parks. Today, he chose to hike a less-traveled trail in the park.

As Adam trekked into the forest, the morning sun cast dappled shadows through the dense woodland of trees. The scent of pine and birdsongs filled the air. He became lost in the natural serenity and marveled at what surrounded him.

The Massive Bear Glares at Adam

But the wilderness had a surprise for Adam. As he rounded a bend in the trail, he froze in his tracks, his heart pounding. A massive black bear stood in his path, a mere ten yards away. Its eyes stared menacingly at Adam.

Massive Black Bear glares at Adam, who must now keep the bear from attacking.

As his mind raced,  Adam remained calm and relied on his training. He had come prepared. The holster strapped to his belt held a canister of bear spray. He’d use it if the bear charged. Adam raised his arms slowly, trying to appear big. His heart thrummed in his ears. Sweat trickled down his forehead despite the cool morning air.

The bear huffed. Its breath was visible as vapor. It took a threatening step forward, testing the intruder’s resolve. Adam held his ground, determined not to show fear. He knew if he ran, it could provoke an attack.

Sensing Adam’s intent, the bear lowered its gaze and roared. It was his way of telling the intruder he had stumbled into the bear’s space. Adam realized that. His mind raced to decide what to do.

He recalled his training—defuse the situation. So he spoke softly, his voice steady. “Hey there, big guy. I’m just passing through. I mean you no harm.” He stepped backward, a signal to show he wasn’t a predatory threat to the bear.

To Adam’s relief, the bear reciprocated the move, slowly stepping backward. Even so, its muscles remained tense and ready to charge. Adam retreated further as he watched the bear, increasing the distance until the danger passed.

As Adam returned down the trail, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of respect and awe for the bear. Nature commanded both fear and admiration. He had witnessed the delicate balance between the two and felt grateful for the experience.

What is flash fiction?


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SMS Flash Fiction Life

Woman Texts Her M8!

Hey M8!
OMG, it’s been ages. MU! I’ve got TMI to spill! So, giving you the latest 411 in my life. It sounds like flash fiction.
I bumped into J yesterday. IURC, he’s from high school? Yeah, that J!;<) We ended up at the same party. It was a blast from the past, LOL! TIME! We reminisced. OMG, the memories flooded back! HCIT?
OMG, and speaking of the unexpected. UT got a new job! Yeah, I know. Pinch me, RN! I was so over my old gig. YKWIM. The new company is AH-MAZING! The workplace is LIT, and my coworkers are gucci. IYKWIM.
On my LDR, things have been up and down, TBH. Remember the guy I’ve been seeing? Well, we hit a brick wall. Too WTF moments, and it’s like living in a soap opera. We had our ups and downs before, but lately, it’s been more downs than ups. IDK if we can fix it. Maybe it’s time to let go. It’s such a BFD, and I’m torn about what to do. YWSYLS.
OMG, what about our travel plans? I know we’ve been DYING to go on a vacay! I’ve been saving my $$$, and I’m ready to jet-set with you, BFF! Let’s GTG somewhere exotic and just let loose. I’ve been eyeing a trip to Bali or maybe Ibiza. It’ll be EPIC! LMK your thoughts ASAP.
BTW, have you seen the latest season of G.O.T? OMFG, it’s been INTENSE! My jaw dropped like a million times. ICYMI, the plot twists are crazy. We NEED to catch up on the latest episodes and have a binge-watching session soon. Popcorn, PJs, and all the drama – count me in!
OMG, I need to wrap up this message. But before I go, remember you’re my ride-or-die! I can’t wait to catch up IRL. We need to set a coffee date or a hangout session soon. MU!
SMS has become the flash fiction of daily life. A woman text messages her M8!

What is Flash Fiction?

The word count in flash fiction falls within 2,000 words or less. Many would say 500 words or less. The average count for most is 1,500 words. Not limited to, here are additional sub-genres: sudden fiction, 750-word max; and micro-fiction, 100-word max
To acquire a sense and feel of flash fiction, here are 25 flash fiction stories. Flash fiction has a strong following:

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Do You Write with Style?

Does style matter? It does if you’re a writer, especially if you want your piece published. Some publications have their style manuals. If you’re a journalist who conforms to the Associated Press Stylebook (or AP Style Guide),  that may not be enough if you’re writing for The New York Times. The Times has its manual of style and usage. That’s not unique. Many publications have in-house style manuals. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Sometimes the difference between them is minute—for example, the Oxford comma. Many consider it persnickety. Yet it has merit.

 I often follow the AP Style Guide or The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) more than any other. Yet I’m aware of the different major manual styles and apply them if they fit what I’m writing and for who I am writing. Here are other style guides used in publishing. Many more are in use.

What about those commas, periods, and quotation marks? Does it matter whether you put the period inside or outside the quotation marks? To paraphrase the late Winston Churchill, England and America are separated by a common language. If you’re an American writer, you’ll put the period inside the quotation mark in a direct quote, but outside it, if you’re English.

And how do I know this? The CMOS says so, and I’m not about bicker about style.

“Commas and periods are almost always placed before a closing quotation mark, ‘like this,’ rather than after, ‘like this.’ This traditional style has persisted even though it’s no longer universally followed outside the United States or entirely logical.”

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Honoring Veterans on Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, Pause and Reflect on the Fallen

Memorial Day holds a special place in my heart and mind, where I gather my thoughts in a solemn assembly of two classmates who gave “the last full measure of their lives” to the American ideal.

As a child, I thought and played as a child. I spent the day surrounded by family and relatives at a lake cabin or resort. My cousins and I devoured grilled hot dogs smothered in ketchup and mustard and ate dill pickles and potato chips. We threw Frisbees, played catch, fished, hula-hooped, and played whatever other kid activity came to mind.

While we entertained ourselves, my Aunts and Uncles relaxed on lawn chairs or at picnic tables butted end-to-end with red gingham plastic tablecloths. My Uncles enjoyed beers and operated several charcoal grills, and my Aunts set out a banquet of homemade picnic foods. As they relaxed, they talked and talked, poked fun at their follies, and laughed until their sides ached and tears welled up in their eyes. But the show-stopper came when they hula-hooped after a few hours of social drinking. To see woozy grown-ups gyrating put us children in stitches! Of course, we begged them not to stop.

That was my childhood memory of Memorial Day. So if death and taxes are certain (Ben Franklin), then change is inevitable, and in time, Memorial Day took on a solemn face for me and others. Awareness comes in many colors. A wake-up call sounded recently when a combat veteran said those who died in uniform didn’t give up their lives so Americans could get a day off work. When Wayne Champion and Reinhard Schnurrer, two high school classmates, died in combat in the Vietnam War, my Memorial Day memories abandoned me.

Remembering Classmates Killed in Combat

So when Memorial Day approaches, Wayne and Reinhard come to mind. I’ve personalized their memories, which in a broader sense, solemnizes a portion of the day. Others display American Flags or wear a red poppy flower, a symbol of “Remembrance” and hope for a peaceful future, and show support for the Armed Forces.

Wayne and Reinhard graduated in 1966. Sometime after graduation, they enlisted. And after military training, they wound up in Vietnam, where they died in combat. They would never hug their parents again. They would never celebrate their twenty-first birthdays, marry, have children, walk a child down the aisle, see grandchildren, hold them, or bounce them on their knees. They would never celebrate an anniversary. On Memorial Day, they would never again be among Americans who remember those who died on battlefields but be among those so honored.

There are plenty of ways to honor the fallen. Many plant flags at veteran grave sites or visit a national cemetery. Even if you’re busy, set aside a moment at 3 p.m. local time to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. It began in 2000. The Remembrance asks Americans to pause briefly in silence and reflect in their way. Wayne and Reinhard, if you’re listening, I remember you and share your memory with classmates who knew you.

Memorial in Jacksonville, North Carolina, for American servicemen and women who died in the Vietnam War. Rick Graf pays tribute to two high school classmates who died in combat.

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