The rabbi said, and he was right, that for many of those present in the synagogue today, Memorial Day will never be the same again. The former student at my school (I never taught her, but I did teach siblings) was killed in the line of duty.
The details were so sad. The line of well-wishers stretching out of the sanctuary, snaking around the hallway, with more and more arriving the whole time. The classmates, some of whom I barely recognized, teary-eyed and stunned. The dozens of uniformed military personnel, some of whom probably didn't know her. The teachers, most of whom were long-time colleagues (you had to be at least a little bit long-time to have known her), who were were proud of their influence on her, but saddened to have to be reminded of it today.
The old veterans 2 rows in front of me who surely never met her, but who tearily saluted as her casket was carried by. The revving of the motorcycles carrying more vets who showed up to become part of her funeral procession. The difference in their eyes and in the eyes of the rest of us who haven't been to a hundred of these.
The pathetic wastes of carbon atoms who came (a few blocks away) to cheer the deaths of servicemen and servicewomen because it fits their (so-called) religious beliefs.
Half of my brain wants to say that her death was so senseless. But the other half keeps reminding me that the word 'senseless' is disrespectful and not quite accurate here. Adjectives fail me.
Requiscat in Pace