In Fairbanks, AK, on the military installation, Fort Wainwright, there is a little pond. Around this pond is a cute little walking trail with benches, trees, bushes, and geese. There is a lone river otter that plays in the water, diving over and over again for whatever he is looking for. For me, the most memorable aspect of this lake are the memorials dotting the scenery. This lake is Monterey Lakes Memorial Park. It was built to commemorate those from the First Stryker Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division. On the quiet morning I was walking this path, waiting for my husband to finish a meeting across the street, it struck me just how peaceful the lake was. What also struck me was the lack of people walking around. The same thought struck me the numerous times I walked around Arlington National Cemetery. There were soldiers who had been laid to rest, who knows how long ago, and I wondered if anyone remembered them. So many have gone before, so many have laid their lives down, and even among the millions who visit Arlington each year, I am sure there are some who are missed: forgotten.
For those who have gone before, those who fought and fell in Lexington and Concord (MA), for those who fell in Gettysburg and Petersburg, for those who still rest at Pearl Harbor, for those who fell at Normandy, for those who fell at Okinawa, for those who fell in Korea, for those who fell in Vietnam, in Somalia, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all those battles that are unknown to us:
an American here in South Carolina solutes you! I have not forgotten! I will not forget!