by SSgt Bruce T. Forbes
(c) Copyright 1996 All Rights Reserved

(I had resisted the comparison of The Wall in Washington D.C. to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. But after visiting Jerusalem and praying at that Wall, I was assigned to the Pentagon and made a personal pilgrimage to the Wall on the Mall. Now, I understand and support the comparison.)

I have prayed at two walls And moistened both with my tears. Both walls stand as witness of great loss and of pain and of tragedy that should have never been. People are silent at these walls; their tears speak for them - Tears for what was lost; Tears for what could have been; Tears that say: "If only...". As people leave these two walls their tears speak of resolve - A resolve to not repeat the great loss or the pain or the tragedy that should not have been; A resolve to live so there will never have to be another wall to remind us of what was lost or what could have been or at which we will mourn and say "If only...". I have prayed at two walls and both have moistened me with their tears.
SSgt Forbes can be reached at