This photo is one of a series of a young US soldier in WWII trying to save a badly wounded person with mouth to mouth, trying to breathe for lungs that cannot breathe on their own. He is not able to save the person. In the last photo shown here, the so very young medic closes the eyes of the dead with a grimy and gentle hand.
On this day Memorial Day, I see the parades and the well earned honors. But as a post-trauma specialist who has worked with veterans of war in recovery since 1965, I see the backside of war, the hidden side, the ongoing for decades ‘wars inside the soldiers’ who have come back from war… or havent yet even though they are right here. I would only ask that they all be remembered today too.
And too, no matter what flag a person has lived or died under, I’d like to note the millions of civilians who bravely died defending their children, their families, neighbors, their holy people. The millions who died then and die now, without warning. The millions who loved. And who lost. And no brave stories are left behind for them. No medals, no honors, no parades, no hurrahs.
But we can remember them nonetheless. Over time, one by one as we as families, individuals, honest historians delve into, inquire, peel back the hidden, we can know their stories, we can name their groups loud, their villages, their tribes, their individual names aloud.
For now, let us call them The Blameless.