Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007 (Updated with video)

As frequenters of this blog know, I sometimes post my students' work from time to time. For this Memorial Day, I have below a student's response to one of the assignments I gave: to write a first-person story telling the point of view of an inanimate object (limit = 600 words).

The following story was contributed by homeschooler B.C.M., a ninth grader:

Emotions of Those Bound by War

My small, metal rectangular frame is clutched in the hand of a young child. Although others like myself are not normally possessed by twelve-year-old boys, my first master was a brave and loyal warrior who fought for his country.

I met my first master when I was presented to him on a satin-covered tray. A rough hand scooped me from that tray, and my chain was wrapped around the man's neck. Despite leaving my home behind, I felt exhilarated about future adventures.

For quite a while, my life was uneventful. I did, however, meet my master's family — a son, a daughter, and a wife. The wife detested me and forbade my master to wear me within the house. One day, though the wife did not protest when my master put me on. Rather, she wept as my master and I left the house.

We took a bus and arrived at a building with airplanes and helicopters waiting to fly. After boarding one, excitement flooded my body. I heard a loud roar. My little heart thumped when I realized that we were no longer on the ground. I must have fallen asleep because my next memory is getting out of the machine dressed in camouflage. My master and twenty other men raced from the airship towards the trees ahead of us. We arrived in safety.

Several weeks later, I got my first taste of excitement. My companions got into a gunfight. Screams echoed around me. Luckily, however, we escaped with minor injuries.

After recovering from the shock and excitement of my first battle, I could taste and smell the fear surrounding me. I heard many men muttering about when they would see their families next. Over the next few weeks, the terror surrounding me increased. My master shuddered with dread before each new battle.

Within a few days, our worst fears came true. We entered a gunfight in which several casualties occurred. Seeing how easily our companions died truly terrified my master and his comrades. In addition, seeing the deaths of friends reminded us that we, too, had killed.

Emotional turmoil set in within my combat unit. Our minds tortured us over our murderous skirmishes. How many had my master killed?

Being inexperienced in war and death caused some of our men great mental damage. They gradually became a burden and were shipped back to America. My master, however, was not one of them. I wondered how long my master could remain unscathed.

During the next week, we were caught in another gunfight. My master's luck ran dry. He was shot. To save his life, my master and I were flown to a hospital to remove the bullet. Then we boarded a plane for America. My master didn't survive the trip home. An attendant removed me from my master's chest and placed me in an envelope. Later he gave me to my master's family.

Now I am in the care of a child. He is not soldier now, so he has no use for me. But I am a piece of his father, the father who died for his son's home and country.

— Contributed by B.C.M.
May God bless all those who have fought to protect our freedoms and the freedoms of others! And may He bless their families, too.

On this Memorial Day may we remember the meaning of the holiday.

Addendum: Read Wordsmith's post. Be sure to watch the video, pasted below, then to visit Wordsmith's site:

May we also take time on this holiday weekend to offer our prayers for those who are presently serving.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 5/28/2007 11:59:00 PM