I don’t often get emotional or get chillbumps or feel particularly affected by things that do that for other people. One exception to that is the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D. C. The first time I saw it, I was 11 years old, and I didn’t really comprehend the enormity of what I was looking at, of what I was seeing. I was only in the 6th grade, and the extent of my knowledge about the Vietnam War was that we were in it, and a lot of people didn’t like it. It wasn’t until I was in high school and then later in college that I got more in-depth education about it, including the anti-war movement back home, and I realized what all of those names really represented, aside from 58,000 grieving families. My uncle served in Vietnam, in the Army, but he came home. My dad was classified 4-F and didn’t have to serve. Some of his friends didn’t come home, some of my mom and uncle’s friends didn’t either, and their names are there. Every time I see that stark, black granite wall, I know better what it means, and the cost that was paid for it. I can’t walk its length without chillbumps now, and I make sure to read each and every name as I walk past. It’s a reminder that America is not invincible, that we can’t win and won’t win everything, and that the price for trying to win is incredibly high. Too high.