There is a little park in my town........it sits amid the hustle and bustle of the small city, sort of triangular with northbound traffic on one side and southbound traffic on the other. At the wide base is a line of shrubs, and behind that will be the next extension of the local Rail Trail. I don't even know that the park has a name, but it is filled with memorials to different wars our country has fought in; Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, both world Wars (none for the Gulf yet.) Each monument is different, and there is a life-sized tank at the point of it, with a memorial to all vets.
My favorite is the Vietnam memorial.
Of course, Vietnam is the war of MY generation. I lost many classmates in that war, and I know many men who served there, many bear mental and physical scars from that period of their lives. There are a few benches there, with brick paths that lead up to the monument itself, and some of the bricks bear the name of a brave soul from Lebanon County who gave his life in service. I am not native to this county, so I know none of these soldiers, but it is nice to see them remembered in this little park. I really don't know how long the park has been there, I have driven by it for years and never really knew what it was until this past spring when a walk with a friend along the trail took us there. A stop there has become a part of most of my bike rides for some RPM........Reflection, Prayer, and Meditation. I sit there and think about those young men, just boys really who fought for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted, I pray for the women left behind, wives, mothers, daughters, and yes, fathers who never get another chance to say, 'I am proud of you son" and little boys who never get to know the men who helped bring them into the world. I am not forgetting that there are women who also gave their lives, leaving behind heartbroken parents, not to mention children who will never be. I talk to my Dad, who lost his battle with cancer in the early 70's and I talk to my beloved Bill who was suddenly taken from me almost 9 years ago. I know that they are watching over me and are proud of the incredible woman I have become. I think about my life and the direction I want to take it. If I have any decisions I am struggling with, that is the place where I find my answers. I think everything over as I pedal, but in this little park is where everything gets sorted out. I usually wind up in tears, but they are cleansing tears rather than tears of sadness. I hardly ever see others in this park. I will see people walking by it, but hardly ever do I see another come in and sit as I do. No matter, my solitude helps me find the peace I seek. I know I am fortunate to have a place such as this, but we all find our peace where we find it, and here is where I find mine.