When I was in law school, one of my housemates was a guy named Blaemire. He told me about his cousin who was killed in the war. His fire team was defending some hill in the middle of Vietnam. Blaemire’s cousin radioed his base camp. He said his unit had been attacked and everybody but him was either wounded or dead. He said the Viet Cong were regrouping to attack again. He said he was scared. When reinforcements came they found the hill scattered with bodies, American and Vietnamese. Blaemire’s cousin was among the dead. He was 19 years old.
This Memorial Day I will get up. I will have my coffee with two creams. I will walk outside. I will feel the sun on my face. I will raise our American flag and think about Blaemire’s cousin.
I am haunted by a man I never knew … and I should be.