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A friend invited me to a Civil War re-enactment. He was well meaning enough, although why he’d think that I, a Vietnam veteran, would enjoy such a thing, who knows?
Then he said, “It’s realistic.”
To which I replied, “You want realistic? Here’s realistic. Fill their rifles with real bullets and let them shoot each other’s guts out. But that’s not even the worst part.
“The one who lives, the dead guy’s war buddy, there’s where you’ll find your realism. The survivor, in five years he’ll think how his buddy would have graduated from college. In ten years, how his buddy would have started a family, bought a little house. In a park one day with his own kid, fifteen years from now, he’ll imagine how his buddy would shag some flies with a son.
“But he won’t. Because he died.
“Twenty years. Thirty. And on it goes until forty years from now, he visits a memorial and puts his hand on the cold stone of his war buddy’s name – re-enact that. That’s realistic.”
Copyright 2017 John Samuel Tieman