In April of 1998 my husband and I took a vacation trip back east to New England and states from Main down to Washington D.C. and Virginia. While visiting D.C. for the first time, we took in several tourist sights including the Arlington National Cemetery, and other war memorials honoring soldiers and military who fought in our wars. I was so moved by the quiet, peaceful settings of the graves and memorials there. The above picture is one of the memorials there honoring those who died in Vietnam. The beautiful black granite Vietnam War memorial wall has over 58,000 + names engraved into it of soldiers who died in just that war, alone. Many of the visitors take a piece of paper and lay it over the name inscription and with a pencil fill in that part where the name leaves an impression or mark on the paper, an emotional experience for those who have lost a loved one in that war. The sculptures and monuments of soldiers from all the wars were equally impressive honoring quiet heroes who fought in those wars. Arlington National Cemetery, also a quiet, serene setting with beautifully landscaped grounds is covered with the graves of soldiers who served and gave their lives for our country. As the anniversary nears of the fall of Saigon on April 30th I think of all those who gave their life for our freedom. They are gone, but not forgotten.
Below the picture is my first attempt at a haiku poem. I decided to use it this way with the protagonist character (Jennifer) whom I created for my recent Historical Fiction story, When Dark Closes In.
A deep impression —
His name engraved on the wall
Her eyes filled with tears.
Joyce E. Johnson
Photo credits: Joyce E. Johnson