Sunday, September 16th, 2001

It rained again all day Sunday, but B wanted to see if she could find the house she used to live in, so we set off in the rain to tramp through an old housing area just a block away from the hotel. She was in familiar territory here, and zeroed in on her quarters almost right away. It was a corner apartment on a four-unit building, derelict and covered in graffiti now. All the buildings in this corner of the housing area were vacant, and I found out later that they were all scheduled for demolition in the spring.

The base chaplains held a memorial service in the base theater in the evening. The place was packed; dozens were standing in the back of the room. The service was simple; after the posting of the colors, each of the chaplains said a few words in reflection of the week’s events, we sang the now-inevitable chorus of ‘God Bless America’ while we held lit candles, and everybody filed out after a moment of silence.

It was a cathartic moment; I got a little misty, even though I’m frankly growing more than a little tired of hearing ‘God Bless America’ every day on the public address system just before retreat. Our way of life in the civilian and, somewhat more pointedly, in our military world has been changed so fundamentally, and yet the event that has sparked the change was so outrageously crazy that I can see it’ll take quite some time for me, for probably anybody, to appreciate the weight of it. I’m fairly certain I’ll never be able to get my mind to encompass it fully.

fundament | 9:20 pm CDT
Category: My Glorious Air Force Career | Tags: , ,
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