58,286 Names But Not Just Names
These were Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters, Brothers, Friends and Family of so many. The average age of these beautiful souls that gave their lives for all of us was 19, just a child, a year older than my son Zachary. Most of them never got the chance to experience how it felt to hold their own child, true love or even the challenges of just life itself.
I stood in front of this black shimmering wall with white block letters looking, wondering what they were like. How it must have felt to stare death in the eye. I have been to this memorial several times and I have just passed it by without regard, without really thinking about these actual people who have sacrificed so much.
As I look at this image, an ordinary woman amongst thousands of names, it made me realize just how insignificant our small, mundane problems really are. I am alive with three beautiful children, living a life many dream about. We can all say in the moment of these genuine thoughts, spiraling through our mind, that we want to do something significant. But, do we really?
Would I be brave? Would I be courageous? Would I step in front of a bullet to save another?
Sacrifice, brotherhood and courage is what I felt looking at these letters formed to names, names molded to frames, frames into faces, faces into souls.
I will hold my children, be “in love” and embrace my challenges.