After we were at The Wall, she wrote this story and gave it to me on a crumpled up piece of paper. I have carried it since then in my Bible. I STILL cry everytime I read it. I felt I had to share it with people that could understand. She does not know that I sent it to you. I will show her your e-mail and let her reply.
Hi, this is Dodie. No one I knew died in Vietnam; but while I was at The Wall, I was moved by the number of people who died and the way many people acted at The Wall. Many people seemed to not care that the wall in front of them was a remembrance for people who had died for them and acted very disrespectfully. I got angry at the insolent people and their disrespect.
I also was moved by some pictures I saw while in Washington, D.C. I think they were the pictures called "Reflections." There were three different pictures, one of a business man crying while touching the wall and the reflections of the men that died in Vietnam.
I wrote this story for the memory of those who had died and for me to remember all that they had done for me.
Dodie can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I looked up and saw a boy kneeling before The Wall talking. I approached him to see what he was doing. He looked up at me, and smiled. "This is where my daddy lives."
The boy pointed to an engraved name on the Stone Black Wall. "I come here all the time and talk to him. I never met my daddy; he was gone saving people's lives when I was born. And before he could come home, he got hurt and went to Heaven. I miss him all the time and wish he hadn't died, but then I get mad at myself for being selfish. If my daddy hadn't died, people wouldn't have lived. I put my picture by him so he wouldn't forget what I looked like. On the back, I put my age because today is my 5th birthday. I sure wish he was here; but instead of getting sad, I get happy because I know my daddy is a hero."
As I walked away from the boy, I began to cry. The tears weren't tears of anger or pain; but tears of joy because I knew a hero, too.
Dodie Anne Hecker
14 years old
CONGRATULATIONS, Dodie; and all our love to you and your family! Thank you for "being there" for our "Heroes!"