My German visitor has gone home. But one of our last items of business was to get her back to the bookstore where she could buy momentos that would freshen her memory of the time she spent studying in this country. Further, she needed to buy some for a friend of hers who also studied here and who is also living back in Germany. So off we went to wade through a dazzling array of trinketry celebrating all things Washington College.
This is the momento that means the most to me. My friend and mentor was a pilot in WWII. He gave this to me, and the gift of his time and his stories. I understand the power of momentos. I understand the way you can weave associations and memory around a small thing. I understand the long reaching effects of mentoring. I understand paying it forward. I understand remembering. Someone asked me if it wasn’t disrespectful to wear Army Air Corps wings like jewelry. I think not. That same person was treated to my memories of a great man, in the way that I will tell his stories to anyone who asks. I wear his wings so that he, and all he did will not wash away in time. It is my small salute. Happy Memorial Day…be grateful.