Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day serving as reminder...

Memorials, that we shouldn't forget ...

Two constellations are depicted in  bas-relief ,
 the winged horse,  Pegasus  and Pisces the fish.

Many of the World War II veterans that I know are getting on in years.  Most of them don't talk much about their experiences, but I remember Stan telling us one  afternoon about participating in the liberation of a camp in Germany.  Grammy  M. shared memories of her service as a nurse in Guadalcanal.   Paul's Normandy Beach memories and Herb and Paul sharing their perspectives of how world War II ended...what it mean to them,  challenged my understanding considerably. Mac, a special force for sure, served multiple times from Viet Nam to special duties in Bosnia...

In the the city of San Francisco, in  a grove of Monterey pine and cypress trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is a curved wall of native granite stone, a memorial for World War II Missing Soldiers.
Last fall I stopped and  read some of the 413 names  of those who were lost or buried at sea in U.S. Pacific waters between 1941 and 1945. This Memorial was erected in 1960.

And now among us are younger vets from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq...and their families....and their families.

Recently I took a continuing education class on the spectrum of PTSD disorders:

    * Acute Stress Reaction
  **  Acute Stress Disorder
 ***  Acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
****  Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
 "Post-trauma risks include poor social support and life stress.  A greater risk for developing Chronic PTSD may be conveyed by post-trauma factors (e.g., lack of social support and additional life stress) than pre-trauma factors. " This is a bottom line conclusion  from the VA/DoD  Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Post-traumatic Stress.

So the take home message for all us who want to have a right response to those who have experienced real trauma is that the love, support, understanding,respect, admiration and opportunity that a person has after big trauma has more bearing on how they will ultimately do then who they were before the trauma. 

The statue at the San Francisco Memorial represents  a poetic and historical female personification of the United States,  the woman Columbia. 
 She has a lot of work to do...don't we?


MEMORIAL from late Latin memoriale ‘record, memory, monument,’ from Latin memorialis serving as a reminder,’ from memoria memory.’


John said...

A wonderful remembrance, tied to the issues we as a nation, and our veteran's will face in the coming years. Thank you for this reminder.

Rachel Federman said...

You really are one of those writers who synthesize from so many different areas...reading, life experience, observation, your own reflections (in journals)..very neat