December 7

Yesterday on December 7 there was a post, by someone whose politics I do not share, about the sacrifice of our fathers in WWII. Later, I read about Eisenhower’s call to duty after Pear Harbor.

Few of our fathers were “professional soldiers,” but they went to war. Friends and brothers lost their lives. Though the navy uniform of my father sits in a chest two feet from where I write, I helped squander his sacrifice and made too few of my own.

I believe we are again at war, but today’s war had no declaration. It seeps into crevices between us and expands them, like water to ice. Our country, our way of life, and the future of our children may yet be lost.

Those whose politics I do not share blame me for this, as I am inclined to blame them. Our common enemy gloats at creating this discord, hoping civil war will destroy our ideals. So, while I’m a little shocked when called an enemy of America, I refuse to return rhetorical fire.

The real enemies are those who gain influence from our discord, and the collaborators who profit from it. I don’t know how to oppose them, yet, but give thanks to those whose sacrifice gives me the freedom to try.

Gary Tewalt Finally your pen has made some sense. Let us all gather some more sense and repair this swamp. Where to start is somewhere on the next page. Let’s turn it.

Erik Dolson Ha! Gary, you HAVE to know that turning the page together would be easier if the first sentence from YOUR pen wasn’t that my beliefs are nonsense. Right? (smile)

Gary Tewalt Say, what duty did your dad have. What ship. WWll ? Etc. T

Erik Dolson Hull Platte Dolson was a second leutenant in the U.S. Navy charged with supply operations in the Phillipines.

Gary Tewalt Oh. Not much pressure on him huh. Lol. That was a tough environ. Still that way in Nam era. We were in Manila when two of our guys dropped a life boat in the night and went awol. Our chopper found the boat several up a Chanel completely destroyed by natives. Those men were never found.

Erik Dolson Gary, in the original of my post, before this morning’s edit, I referred to Viet Nam. You and I lost a friend last week who served there, Dave Byrum. I deleted that section because it diluted what I wanted to say about December 7.

But I still think it’s important.

I did not serve in Viet Nam because my lottery number gave me a pass. I did not believe in that war, either. At the same time, I was so ashamed of those who greeted soldiers and sailors with contempt upon thier return from Viet Nam. It was so wrong for so many reasons, not least of which was the sacrifice that you and your fellows made when over there.

Despite the outcome of that conflict, your sacrifice was no less than our father’s in WWII. Though the world had changed, the courage and valor of soldiers had not, and there were and are many heros. John McCain, John Kerry, Robert Meuller, and you, Lynn Johnston, Dave Byrum. All of you.

This is part of the reason why I feel I squandered the sacrifices made. Because I was not vigilant enough to say often enough, “Wait! These are fellow Americans! We’re on the same side!”

I am a wordsmith by trade and know better, but let labels guide my thinking. “Conservative,” “liberal,” “socialist” right-winger.” But at this moment, and because of a revelation I had yesterday in the office of the current editor of your local newspaper, I choose to not take the easy path of dismissing you with a label.

I need to know why you and I disagree about what seem to each of us to be obvious fundementals. Because I do believe my country — your country, our country — is being attacked in a way that could destroy everything you and my father and our forefathers fought for.

So, Gary, here I am. And I’m going to start by saying I’m sorry for my past ommissions, and thank you for all that you’ve done.

~ Erik

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Fires That Forge Us

by Erik Dolson

Thanksgiving. No reservations available, but there’s seating in the bar. The restaurant has run out of turkey, I decide duck will do. The dish is labeled “Canard Deux Façons,” so that’s what I order.

At first, there’s just the surprising way you toss “du rien” over your shoulder while walking away from the table after I say thank you; the speed with which you glide weightless from dining to bar and back, feet barely touching the floor; the way your laugh proves presence at every table you serve.

But standing there talking to me while holding an armful of heavy plates, you slip unimpeded into places I guard closely at heavy cost. You just returned from France, I lived and studied there decades ago. When your age, I waited tables in places just like this. You want to ask a question, maybe two. Will I be around?

Why are choices so hard? Why do you need to traverse the world? Why do you need to go, when you’ve finally created a life where you want to stay? Read more…