There are certain days out here where I get frustrated by the way humans communicate. I know that sounds weird, but allow me to explain. Have you ever taken a picture of something beautiful, but the picture just doesn't do the sight justice? Well it happens to me a lot out here, with words and pictures. My limited vocabulary and writing ability always seems to hold me back from adequately communicating how I feel. Nevertheless, I will do my best.
Today on the trail we got to see the memorial of the most decorated solider in the US military during WWII, Audie Murphy. Dear God, was Mr. Murphy a warrior. The man earned 24 decorations during his service, including the Medal of Honor, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Cross, and three Purple Hearts. The stone monument was erected in 1974 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and an American Flag flew behind it. It was an awe inspiring sight, and every patriotic bone in my body was tingling. Beside the original monument were two separate structures that hikers have built over the years with simple rocks. Scattered amongst the stone piles were personal belongings left behind to show respect, such as small flags, dog tags, and military patches. As a small token of my appreciation, I did as many hikers have done before me, and added a stone to our hiker-made monument. It was the least I could do.
Directly across from the monument stood two benches. I sat at one of the two benches for a long time, just to enjoy the peacefulness of the moment. I was more moved by this place than by all the memorials I visited in Washington, D.C. combined. There were no screaming kids or noisy tourists. I didn't have to compete with 10,000 other people for a decent view or picture. I was literally the only one there. It was as if the monument were built just for me. I could hear birds singing and the sun was shining. I was able to actually collect my thoughts, and truly appreciate what was before me. I said a small prayer for Mr. Murphy, and for all veterans of the United States military. Thank you so much for your service.
Well guys, that's about it for me. Until next time,
P.s Check out how cool the hiker-made monuments are in the pictures. Almost better than the original, am I right?