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  • This was inside the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.

    There's 3 memorials that have evoked similar sensations for me the first time I experienced them - the Holocaust Museum in D.C. (which I now work right across the street from), The Wall (Viet Nam Memorial in D.C.) and this one.

    In each one, the experience is very quiet, very personal. I have felt an overwhelming sense of human tragedy in each, but also of the triumph of the spirit. I went through the Holocaust Museum with my family, on a day when we were having a lot of fun, enjoying the togetherness and company, but for the entire time we were in the museum, everyone was quiet, and we each experienced it in our own personal way. There was not much to say about it. Similarly, when Kathy and I toured Berlin that day, we had a great time, but this stop was a silent, personal, reflective one.

    I was honored, at the 20th anniversary of the Viet Nam Memorial, to participate in the reading of the names on The Wall. All 57,000, or however many there are, names were read. I had 30 of them. I read at the Wall at 5:45 a.m. on Veterans Day, 2002, just before the dawn. One of the most sacred moments I can recall in my life.

    Memorial Day Weekend always makes me think of those who have come before us and have left us to carry it on. I think of them all, with a debt of gratitude and a commitment to remember and honor their sacrifices.

    Happy Memorial Day!
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