Gnomicon 144

If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.

Gnomicon  144
Sunday 30 September 2012

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To fly we have to have resistance.
Maya Lin(5 October 1959 – )

One of the more moving – deeply moving — experiences I have had in the recent past was in May of 2011 when I was visiting my daughter in the Washington, D.C. area.  She had asked me if there was anything special I wanted to do or see while I was there, and I told her that although I had visited the area on several occasions, I had never seen The Wall.  That was what I had long wanted to see, and now would be the perfect opportunity..

We – she, her husband, her two boys – did just that.  One very bright and sunny afternoon we piled into the car and headed for the Constitution Gardens, and found street parking nearby.  The Wall sits sort of between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, and to say that it is breath-taking — literally – is not hyperbole.


I am not a sentimental type, but I admit that the experience of standing there in front of this long somber monument engraved with the names of 58,195 Americans sent to death by their ‘leaders’ did choke me up. Perhaps that is not so much a matter of sentimentality as of sentiment.

I for one cannot refrain from wondering about 1) what the possible point of it all could have been in the minds of those three presidents who inhabited that decade, and 2) what might have become of all those dead soldiers and their future progeny that never was if this adventure had been declined.

Each one of us, I would imagine – even those not yet born at the time – has some kind of view of the Viet Nam War (1959-1975), as we at some even inchoate level no doubt do of the Korean War (1950-1953)  and WW II (1939-1945)  and WW I (1914-1918)  and the Civil War (1861-1865)  and the Crimean War (1853-1856) and … the Trojan War (1184 BCE) … and wars before Troy … and after Viet Nam …

Maya Lin’s sentiment, like her monument, encapsulates for me a notion that perhaps it is because of the resistance that we still continue stubbornly to fly.


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