Dave Spae and I were born to different worlds. We were raised differently. We lived differently. We approached the question of the Vietnam war differently. I believed the war was wrong and did my damndest to help end it. Beyond the insane possibility of being an Asian fighting an Asian war, military service was not in my vocabulary. On the other hand, Dave was a marine. A lance corporal who earned a Purple Heart. He never questioned the war. He just fought it. He knew in his gut that without the threat of war there can be no peace. I have come to learn it more intellectually over the years. So in a roundabout way we end in the same place even as we did in school so many years ago. More than anything about our last reunion, I wanted to see Dave again. It never happened because he passed away several months before the event
So when going to visit my folks who recently moved to McLean VA, there was never any question but that I would visit Dave in his final rest surrounded by other brave men who like Dave, fought their wars to preserve their peace. I went to honor him and to tell him in person how much I regretted that we never got to see each other again. And as I looked across that ocean of white marble, I was reminded to let Dave know that he had been right and that I had been wrong so many years ago, not about the war but about national service. Too soon old, too late smart.
So good bye my friend. I can still see you towering over me in your black leather jacket with your DA hanging over your brow with that big grin across your face. We'll laugh together about life's ironies someday. Till then, I'll make sure to stop by to see you when I'm in DC visiting the folks.
On another matter, I got an email from Gordon Albro who went to that cemetery in Totowa to find Joe Brophy. Gordon reported that he could not find the memorial. He did find several Joe Brophys, just not Our Joe Brophy. So just when I half thought I was done, I'm not. If anyone knows where Joe is interred let me know.