Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back to remembering. There's been stuff going on around us, including another meeting of the Veteran's Commission of Montgomery County and the launching of their website which includes a page showing the now 12 fallen servicemembers from Montgomery County but I'm leaving that for another day.


Once we got home from Ft. Lewis, we had to return to our normal lives. The truth is, I don't remember much about the next week or two and even the day of the anniversary is a little hazy, but there are some things definitely happened in the interval that I remember clearly.

Two of the soldiers we met during our trip, Rusty and Chris, had told us they would definitely come out for the anniversary. Maria took charge of keeping in touch and making sure the arrangements happened. So that was taken care of.

I stayed busy from the time of our return until the anniversary. I worked at the fabric store five or six times, I went to the funeral of an old friend's mother, I had the kitchen floor ripped out in preparation for a massive remodel (the tile contained asbestos which had complicated things). I have pictures of the progress of the kitchen--I may attach the one that epitomized the whole project. On my calendar, I have not marked November 11th as special at all. I think the boys arrived on November 10th or maybe they took a red-eye and got here very early on the 11th. It was a Friday. I tried not to think too much about it.

And, one of the other mothers of the four Maryland soldiers who had died in that three day interval with Thomas called me to say there was a Baltimore Sun reporter who wanted to do a story about all of us. I agreed to be interviewed--it seemed time to break our silence officially. Greg Barrett came to the house a few days before the anniversary to do the interview. This poor man--I think he may have asked one question and then I talked for two hours, maybe more. Among other things, I told him I was going to be doing the four mile run for the Team River Runner run/kayak biathlon on the 12th of November and he wanted to me to let him know how that turned out as the story would not appear until the 13th. There was also a photographer who came on the evening of November 10th. He called for the appointment, I volunteered some directions which he claimed to not need (correctly as it turned out). He arrived on time as I remember, set up his camera and light and a screen maybe, then had me sit on the much reviled love seat which had it's back to the front door. We often leave that door open because the storm door is sufficient--at this time, we still had Thomas's Gold Star banner hanging, so with the door open, you could see it behind me in the photograph. The photographer wrote a short essay about this experience that appeared the following week, describing how controlled I had been until he asked me to hold the flag case. At which point of course I fell apart, which I'm sure was both his intention and his fear. The essay was factual but compassionate, and I liked it: maybe it was ego as it was mine alone, but I hope not. It was a bit of a weird experience as the main article was generally correct, but there were a few details that were not quite right--nothing important but it was a little irritating to realize how difficult it is to transmit information accurately.

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