Seeing the flags lining the street I remember my mother taking me to celebrations at the park. Scanning the ground for coins dropped near the foundation, listening to the steady cadence of water filling the basin, feeling the burn of tripping the concrete and stubbing my toe. Blood, welling under my toenail, a reminder of the cost of dreams . . .

We walked to the ancient iron cannon that rested near the outcrop of flags. As the drums boomed around us, we waited for the procession, the white gloves, the three shots . . .

Looking up at the stars, I cringed in anticipation of those explosions, then the silence . . .

Year after year, the shots fired, the silence loomed, and we stood by watching . . .

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Note: This past Memorial Day weekend, I heard Disturbed’s remake of Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence and was a bit speechless as I listened.

David Draiman’s deep, usually metal now seeming classically-trained, voice sings a beautiful, haunting ballad, accompanied by eerie piano notes.  The song brings to my mind the experience of loss, war and death . . .

May we work toward peace as the greatest good.