I wrote this when I was in the Army during the Vietnam War. The photo was taken at the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
In a hospital bed
Sergeant Rooney’s face
To the backs of a
And a beauty queen.
Here is the link,url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MjLYZ_o994 , to the video of the “maiden voyage” of the National Dialogue on the Cost of War. Specifically, on November 1, 2013 in San Francisco there was an hour discussion with three combat vets about their perspectives on combat, from death in battle to life at home. Watch and judge for yourself if this cost is worth it.
I’m a bird watcher, as noted in the above photo. Actually, this bird was staring intently at people watching the close of a cloudy sunset last week. After naming this photo–bird watcher–and in vogue with my wandering mind, I started humming “I’m a Girl Watcher,” a 1968 pop song that I don’t like but with a refrain hard to forget. The times were a-changing in 1968 from music trends to war. The Summer of Love was still alive for those who missed its debut the prior year–people were still wearing flowers in their hair. Are you still with me?
The mind is a wonderful traveler and what it chooses to remember is ripe for psychoanalysis, especially if you want to understand more than necessary. But for me there is a connection to 1968 and the vocal, visible and growing opposition to our fighting in Vietnam back then and this week’s Congressional vote on whether we should engage in a “limited” action against Syria’s Assad. The connection is that we haven’t learned our lesson about the cost of military engagement despite the enormous loss of lives in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. And that I could somehow link a bird to a song to Syria is proof that the matter weighs heavily on me.