A half-replica of the Vietnam Memorial arrived in Santa Fe the same day as I, so of course I wanted to visit it, having never seen the original.
A chill breeze sapped the warmth from the sun as my sister and I walked across the field to the low, black, reflective memorial, and I began to cry as we drew closer, my flesh puckering into chicken skin just from the sight of it.
The low, mournful sound of taps played repetitively, hauntingly, and it took me a moment to find the source: a man on a park bench, back to the memorial, dressed all in black, from head to toe, blowing into a harmonica. At the end of each rendition, he would pause briefly, and then begin again. I wondered if he was homeless, a veteran, what brought him there to play that dirge again and again and again.
My sister and I walked the length of the memorial, reading the names of men we did not know — men who once were fathers, brothers, sons, lovers, friends. Such a waste, she murmured, such a waste of life.
Yes, I agreed. And we just keep doing it.
Over and over and over again.