Long ago and far away
There’s an unmistakable feeling when you enter the home of someone who recently died. Even if you never knew the deceased, you sense, feel and know the utter emptiness. It’s as if someone installed a room freshener that took all the life out of the atmosphere instead of the odours. The bigger the presence the dead one had when alive, the stronger the emptiness of intellectual desolation.
All four men in the room knew the deceased for what seemed like a lifetime but was actually only a couple years. The two women felt that they knew him through the stories of their male friends. All had the same feeling of being in limbo between the worlds of the tragically dead and the brilliantly alive.
None wanted to be the first to break the silence of respectful memories as well as the astonishment that the larger-than-life character would no longer be seen, heard, feared or enjoyed again.
There were few belongings; what remained was incredibly neat, as if prepared for inspection…
The deceased had once been the company field first sergeant and platoon sergeant of the four men in the room; the platoon obscurist, the platoon philosopher, the platoon professor, and the platoon psychiatrist. They and the platoon comedian and platoon soothsayer, who couldn’t make it to the location of veneration, called themselves the platoon ‘brains trust’; as they believed that the others in the platoon were ‘two-dimensional’.
Katrina felt herself being drawn towards a large group photograph on a wall. The deceased was unmistakable…All those in the portrait wore the same service hats and dress uniforms, but with nowhere near the number of ribbons or chevrons of the man who had until recently lived in the room.
Peter, the platoon obscurist, read Katrina’s mind and answered her as he pointed,
‘Combat Infantryman’s Badge with Star. Distinguished Service Cross…’
‘He got that for being a one-man army in Ko-rea!’, proudly interjected the professor.
‘I read about it when I was in school!’, the philosopher remembered. ‘He filled a rucksack full of ammo belts, picked up a bag of grenades, took a thirty cal off its tripod then played King of the Hill for real! Those Chicoms never knew what hit ‘em when he fired up and mowed ‘em down! The survivors ran like hell!’
‘If he hadn’t had a hill to hold and his Purple Heart platoon to protect, he’d have chased them back across the Yalu!’, the psychiatrist boasted, ‘He’d never bug out and he never left a man behind.’
Athena, the other woman in the room, opened her eyes widely.
The obscurist continued,
‘Silver Star, Bronze Star with ‘V’ for valour, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre of Operations Campaign Medal with three Invasion Arrowheads and two Battle Stars, Pacific Theatre of Operations Campaign Medal and Philippine Liberation Medal both with one Battle Star, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, Korean Service Medal with four Battle Stars…Those things on his lower sleeve are called Hershey Bars. Each one means six months in a combat zone. Three stripes up and two rockers down means platoon sergeant…Sergeant First Class…’
‘First Class is what he was…in everything…’, clarified the philosopher.
The psychiatrist echoed Katrina’s thoughts,
‘He didn’t need all that fruit salad on his chest, you could see it in his eyes.’
Athena reflected, ‘Philip of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great, once said, “An army of deer led by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a deer”.’
The professor added, ‘You forgot that ribbon, the American Defence Service Medal. He joined the Regular Army before Pearl Harbor. He told me he signed up for “three hots and a cot”.’
‘After the Depression all he knew and would ever know was soldiering’, pronounced the philosopher.
‘Have you noticed which medal is missing?’, asked the obscurist.
‘The Congressional Medal of Honor?’, guessed Athena.
The psychiatrist knew,
‘The Army Good Conduct Medal. He refused to wear it.’
‘What are those pieces of rope on all your shoulders?’
All four men proudly answered Katrina simultaneously,
‘United States Infantry!’
She admired the photo taken in her native West Germany, as there was her Peter standing tall and proud, being a man among men. She recognised and pointed out each of the four men in the room in the photograph; all wore a single Private First Class chevron and a solitary ribbon in a frame over their right pocket on their Ike jackets.
‘They awarded you the Iron Cross, Peter?’
The laughter broke the mood like a thunderclap.
‘No Katrina, that’s my Marksman’s badge.’
The striking Athena, who had once been the platoon pin-up and was now the platoon professor’s fiancée spoke,
‘Here you are now, and here you were then…’
The philosopher pondered,
‘Of all the platoons he was in in all the places he’d been in…why did he keep this one, and this one alone on his wall?’
The professor answered,
‘Because he knew we’d be coming…’
Days earlier, miles south…
In America the drugstore was more than a place where you obtained prescriptions or off the shelf medications. It was the neighbourhood bookstore, café, confectionary, ice cream parlour, newsstand, tobacconist, toy shop, and rendezvous.
They sat in a wooden booth over a light supper. On one side were the windows with their view of North Avenue where tangerine-coloured streetcars hummed by, on the opposite side were a pair of wooden telephone booths. Across from the soda fountain counter and booths was a wooden rack holding comic books and magazines, for more substantial reading there was a black metal revolving rack holding paperback books. Against the wall was a frame holding a variety of greeting cards. Beyond the partition was the pharmacy.
‘How long will you be away for, and how will I get along without you, Peter?’
‘I don’t know either of those things, Katrina. Milwaukee’s not far. We have to dispose of all his belongings and organise the funeral, and we’ll certainly be catching up on old times.’
‘Then I will come with you.’
‘I know you as you are now, I know your friends and your family, but I did not know you when you were a soldier. I want to know everything about you.’
She didn’t tell him she wanted to support him emotionally; he would refuse her out of masculine pride.
‘Are you game to share a hotel room?’
‘Yes, but not with you or any other man who is not my husband. I have been saving for what you call a vacation, and Milwaukee will be that place.’
He boarded the streetcar with his luggage on North Avenue; the same streetcar where he had met her, and where she later confided that she had her eye on him for some time before the fantastic Old Nick brought the two shy people together.
Peter eagerly anticipated Katrina boarding a bit further north; there she was in her trenchcoat and beret with her luggage! The mid-morning streetcar was nearly empty that made things all the happier as they had plenty of room to place their suitcases.
She had expertly prepared their leisurely itinerary of the most wonderful journey the pair had ever taken in their lives due to their being with each other. To be more accurate, it was the most wonderful series of journeys, not only the city streetcar, then the train from Illinois to Wisconsin, but to an eagerly anticipated reunion and nostalgia fest from Germany.
Their streetcar loudly turned westwards at Victory Park up Glen Flora Avenue instead of continuing North towards Greenwood Avenue. They enjoyed viewing their St. Anastasia Church they attended together that also was a school. The opposite side of the church and school featured its playground that resembled a prison exercise yard, though there wasn’t a nun with a tommy gun perched on top of the high chain-link fence that surrounded the uniformed children.
Now was the block of shops between Grove and Jackson Streets of the Co-operative Trading Company Supermarket, Veneman’s Paint and Stationery, Kelly’s Hardware, O’Donnell’s Printing, Gould’s Bakery, White’s Variety Store, a women’s fashion store and mental health spa and Johnny’s Café where they met the second time. Across the busy street was Glen Flora School with its large grassy yard full of trees and happy kids playing at recess. After the traffic light they continued to the End of the Line and the diner of the same name.
She enjoyed shopping with him there on her free Saturdays, then they ventured to the End of the Liner Diner to watch the trains as they lunched and conversed. Peter walked her to Larson’s Florist; the largest florist shop she had ever seen to view the beautiful flowers before he’d purchase some for her. They would walk back to the End of the Line and take the streetcar to her home where she would place the flowers in a vase, play soft music, prepare coffee and talk about 1001 things.
There was enough time to take tea and watch trains, then walk to the small Glen Flora Station for a brief trip south to the main Edison Square Station of the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee electric railway. Now they would be going on an actual journey, or would it be an odyssey?
At the Washington Street main railway station, they waited for the northbound streamlined green with red trim Electroliner express train to Milwaukee. Its name was emblazoned in lightning bolts designating modern speed, technological progress and the adventure of travel. They zoomed by the small Glen Flora Station and the End of the Liner Diner where they had come from and enjoyed their Electroburger lunch in the Electroliner’s dining car as the countryside shot by.
The platoon brains trust had come from the four corners, but not from too far away. The psychiatrist was a bartender in Green Bay, the philosopher was a cabbie from Toledo and the professor from Des Moines was a civil servant like the obscurist. The four were still single; the others were married and didn’t have spare time or money to come, though they sent offers of help if required.
The professor was their acting leader, as their rifle squad leader was still in This Man’s Army back in Germany. He said that if you had been stationed in Krautland, they kept shipping you back there after your stateside tour of duty.
The professor discovered an economical hotel they would use as their base of operations. He expressed joy that Katrina was coming, as his own fiancée wasn’t willing to share a room with him. The obscurist would share a room with the psychiatrist, the professor with the philosopher, and the two ladies together.
Introductions were made all around at the railway station before they walked to their nearby hotel.
‘You have to be Katrina! I’m Athena Ioannou and I’m so happy to meet you.’
‘Yassu!’, smiled the obscurist.
Athena’s voice was like a soft zephyr that came from another era, her beauty was so natural it was almost otherworldly. Dressed in a simple black dress with her hair tied up on top, her poise, posture and self-confidence made her effortlessly resemble the end product of what most other young women spent hours trying to imitate but could never duplicate.
Katrina disliked her on sight…
Instead of pearls, she wore a small blue amulet that looked like an eye. Katrina wondered if it was her Northern European instincts and traits of ‘ice’ that were aroused against Athena’s Southern European ‘fire’.
Their hotel featured a warm cosy wood-panelled restaurant with colourful Germanic tablecloths and curtains as well as a cuckoo clock. Over a tasty familiar German dinner with soft German music playing, all but Athena had the famous Milwaukee beer with its name that sounded like a belch or a fart. The ex-GIs lustily sang its well-known jingle,
‘I'm from Milwaukee and I ought to know!
It's draft…brewed…BLATZ…beer…wherever you go!
Smoother and fresher…less filling…that's clear,
BLATZ is Milwaukee's…FINEST BEER!’
Athena had a glass of white wine.
Katrina was the Belle of the Ball; her German accent was wonderful nostalgia for them, and their stories of West Germany took her back to her childhood.
Dressed in suits or sportscoats, they attempted to resemble the sophisticated drinkers of the commercials rather than the loud and hopeless barflies they didn’t want to become. Katrina noticed that three of the men only drank two beers, when the fourth ordered a third, the others gave him a look that made him cancel his order.
‘I’m surprised you became a bartender; you never drank much.’
‘A bar’s the only place you can practice psychiatry without a degree and a shingle…unless you‘re a priest.’
The four men retold amusing anecdotes of their platoon that the ladies enjoyed as much as they did. They passed around photo albums where they could see those involved in the tales at the time. Katrina thought there were enough funny stories to make a Sergeant Bilko type television series. Her favourite was when they found an abandoned dog that they made platoon mascot.
Their platoon sergeant found them out,
‘What are you goddammed sons of bitches doing with a mutt?!’
‘Mom!’, the platoon comedian wailed.
Their sergeant not only roared in laughter but joined in hiding the mascot from the officers.
The merriment ended when Athena put on her spectacles and produced a packet of papers.
‘Now gentlemen…and Katrina…your attention please…’
She not only was the platoon secretary, but she was also their funereal patrol leader…
It became clear that Athena had organised the group’s schedule and list of tasks to accomplish as Katrina organised Peter’s itinerary; she began to mellow towards her.
Inside their room, Katrina decided, as her Peter put it, to break the ice with her roommate.
‘What is that beautiful amulet you are wearing?’
‘We call it the Mati. It’s a traditional protection against the evil eye.’
‘What would happen if an evil person wore it backwards, would they disappear?’
Katrina could not believe she said that. She had obviously been spending too much time with the Down and Outers.
Her reaction was the opposite to what Katrina feared. Athena enthusiastically laughed; her face breaking out in a joyous smile.
‘I didn’t know Germans had a sense of humour!’
‘Yes, of course we do, and we are very serious about it…’
She didn’t mean to say that either, but Athena loudly laughed again, and realising the humour in what she said, she laughed too.
Athena let her hair down both literally and proverbially as the pair began what American teenaged girls called a slumber or pyjama party.
Katrina complimented her on her professional dress and demeanour. She confirmed Katrina’s belief that she was an executive secretary. Though her employer was impressively educated and financially powerful, he didn’t know to separate his coloured items from his whites when he washed his clothes.
Athena had no false modesty; she seemed to be a mind reader as well,
‘It’s my Aéras; what you call an ‘air’. I was fortunate enough to be born with the ability to look like I belong where I am at the time.’
Athena related a series of stories.
She had no memories of her father who suddenly left the family in her childhood and was never heard from again.
On a trip to Milwaukee, she and the professor ran into the ex-platoon sergeant. She had seen alcoholics before and had her opinion confirmed when he wouldn’t eat anything; food to him was like sunlight to a vampire.
He stopped his drinking and spent more time chatting with her than the professor, as if he needed a woman’s touch.
She mailed him a Christmas card; he answered back wishing her a Happy New Year. She responded that his letter was surprisingly well-written and intimate, he explained that in the army you had lots of time to read and think and didn’t have a professor to tell you what you should read or think. You could also discover the world yourself.
He posted her a Happy Chinese New Year card telling her that he drank to make other people more interesting, but he didn’t need anything to make her more interesting.
She replied with a Valentine. He thanked her with another nice letter, then a St. Patrick’s Day card addressed to ‘Miss O’Ioannou’. She responded with a Happy Greek Independence Day card. He answered that Greece was where Lord Byron really came alive at the end of his Grand Tour.
She wrote a long and intimate letter that she immediately regretted posting to him. He warmly responded saying though the death of his mother in his childhood hurt him, it made all of them stronger for the difficult tasks ahead. His only brother joined the army before him and was killed in the Bataan Death March. His father was killed in a factory accident during the war. He had no relatives.
He said he regretted not marrying and having a daughter. She responded she’d fill the job if he’d fill the job of her father. He replied he would be proud to; they wrote to each other more often.
He was dead after the Orthodox Easter.
She heard the news from his landlady telephoning her office, and that the sergeant had no one else in the world that she knew about. Athena organised the funeral patrol.
‘I always thought that when a man joined the army, he had his personality taken away…but the army gave them their personalities, and an audience to perform in front of and be accepted by. In the platoon photograph they all look alike, but when you know them, they’re all so different. Their sergeant was definitely the ringmaster of their circus…They know they’ve been a part of something bigger than themselves…and they’ll never forget it.’
‘I once watched a war movie with Peter on television called A Walk in the Sun on a rainy afternoon. I do not like war movies, but this one was different. Dana Andrews said, “It is a funny thing, how many people you meet in the Army who cross your path for a few seconds and you never see them again…You have never seen their face before, you never see it again but you can never forget it.” I felt that way when I saw their sergeant in the photograph.’
The four males gathered in one room for tale-telling with each one adding a piece to reassemble the jigsaw puzzle of their sergeant and ponder the result.
‘So, the bastards wouldn’t let him finish his twenty and get a pension. He must’ve pissed off somebody high up.’
‘He always did, and he always had that look in his eye.’
‘”No shame, no sympathy, just cold hard fact…File it in the TS file”’.
All recognised his response to a variety of situations.
‘Never got his sixth stripe either. The little shits pulled him down like Gulliver in Lilliput.’
‘You don’t ask officers to their face who or how many they sucked off to get their bars.’
‘He sure did.’
‘He never talked behind a man’s back.’
‘When he joined the Army, he told me they still had Professional Privates. They got rid of them after the war, because the officers only wanted people who’d suck up for their stripes, kiss their asses and not have the balls to tell them to their face what they did wrong.’
‘He told me about his troubles and trips to the stockade after the war, but not enough for Leavenworth. He lucked out with Korea when they realised that they needed men like him.’
‘I wonder what he did with his medals?’
‘He would’ve pawned them for booze, like he would’ve with all his captured battle flags, weapons and samurai sword.’
‘I can’t see why he didn’t go down South and sell his expertise to some Banana Republic army.’
‘Like they did in the 19th Century?’
‘He told me when he got his pension he wanted to live in Panama or the Philippines and run a bar and whorehouse but still get the benefits of living near a US military base.’
‘”Give the people what they want”, he always said…’
‘He sure did.’
‘First his good times ran out, then his luck, then his money, then his health, then his time…’
Athena was knowledgeable about all the matters required to speed up the liquidation of the estate and internment of the deceased, but Katrina’s presence was a godsend to her for emotional support and assistance. There were now two teams to accomplish the required tasks.
The men entered the morgue where an attendant produced the sergeant for their inspection, a true reversal of roles. He was pulled out of a large bureaucratic filing cabinet as if he was a service record jacket rather than a soldier.
He now looked like Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol; not only in a white shroud, but a bandage tied from his chin and knotted on the top of his head as if he had a toothache, or a sad man forced to wear a white rabbit costume.
‘He looks pissed off.’
‘You think he looks angry?’
‘No, just disappointed.’
‘I think he looks relieved it’s over. That cat lived his nine lives overseas.’
As the philosopher said, he had pawned all his valuables, medals and war souvenirs; only the large platoon photograph remained. His clothes and belongings wouldn’t have filled a GI duffel bag.
‘We all agreed that you should have the photograph, Katrina. We have our own, and you’ve been wonderful.’
‘Thank you, Professor.’
She removed it from the wall.
‘Look! There is an envelope on the back!’
Inside was a note that she read,
LISTEN UP, MEATHEADS!
I KNOW THAT ATHENA ORGANISED YOU CLOWNS INTO CLEANING UP MY MESS. SHE’S A GRAND LADY, PROFESSOR, AND IF YOU DON’T MARRY HER, I’LL COME BACK AND MAKE YOUR LIFE MISERABLE. NO, I DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT, BECAUSE WITHOUT A SPECIAL SOMEONE YOUR LIFE IS MISERABLE ENOUGH. I FOUND THAT OUT.
FOR THE REST OF YOU BOZOS, SHE’S THE SECOND LOOEY YOU SHOULD’VE HAD, INEXPERIENCED, BUT SMART AND CAN RUN THE SHOW, TAKE NAMES AND KICK ASS.
THERE’S A TIME IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU NEED A GOOD MOTHER AND FATHER, THEN THERE’S A TIME IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU NEED A GOOD SERGEANT, AFTER THAT YOU NEED A GOOD WIFE.
I’VE GOT NO ONE TO BLAME BUT ME FOR THE MESS I’VE GOTTEN MYSELF INTO. ON CIVIE STREET I JUST WAS RUNNING IN PLACE FASTER AND FASTER AND DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY, HEALTH OR COMMON SENSE TO GET ANYWHERE.
HELL IS BEING NOWHERE AND KNOWING YOU WON’T GET OUT OF IT.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I WANT TO THANK YOU CLOWNS.
YOU WERE THE BEST PLATOON I EVER HAD. NONE OF YOU WERE FOUL-UPS LIKE SOME OF THE MORONS I HAD THAT KILLED THEMSELVES AND OTHERS OFF THROUGH THEIR OWN STUPIDITY. YOU WERE ON THE BALL. YOU THINK IT WAS ME, BUT I ONLY GAVE YOU A GUIDING HAND, OR A FIST OR TWO BEHIND THE BARRACKS.
LEADING YOU GUYS WAS THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO ME SINCE THE COMMIES INVADED SOUTH KOREA AND THEY STOPPED MY DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE. WHEN THE DEAD PILED UP ON THE GROUND THE STRIPES WENT BACK ON MY ARM.
AFTER THE ARMISTICE, THEY GAVE ME ONE MORE CHANCE. YOU GUYS WERE IT. YOU PULLED ME TOGETHER.
LIKE I ALWAYS TOLD YOU, WE WERE A TEAM, BUT I’M TELLING YOU NOW THAT I NEEDED YOU MORE THAN YOU NEEDED ME. I DIDN’T TELL YOU I WAS PROUD OF YOU, BUT I HOPED YOU KNEW.
WHEN MY TOUR IN GERMANY FINISHED, THINGS WENT BACK TO SHIT STATESIDE IN SNAFU CITY. ALL IT TAKES IS ONE BAD OFFICER WHO THINKS YOU’LL KISS HIS ASS AND COVER UP FOR HIM.
YOU KNOW ME AND SO DID THEY.
ATHENA, IN CIVVIE STREET YOU THINK IT BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS, IN THIS MAN’S ARMY THEY ONLY COVER THEIR ASS, PARDON THE FRENCH.
THEY CAME DOWN ON ME LIKE A TON OF BRICKS.
I HAD IT COMING, I’M JUST SORRY I NEVER GOT TO SEE YOU GUYS AGAIN UNTIL I MET THE PROF AND ATHENA. MY FAMILY ARE DEAD AND GONE, SO THE PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARE MY FAMILY.
CATCH YOU LATER,
YOUR GRATEFUL TOP BANANA
The veteran’s funeral at the General Wood Soldier’s Home Cemetery had the honours performed by uniformed Old Soldiers. Their rainbow ribbons showed they were First World War veterans. They wore the old Olive Drab uniforms worn in World War II and Korea with highly polished brown leather garrison belts, service hat visors and shoes; the platoon had worn the same-coloured Ike jackets as their ‘overseas uniform’ in Germany.
The dignified obscurist, philosopher, professor and psychiatrist stood tall, well dressed in dark suits as were the two women dressed in black.
The Old Soldiers had come back to life to honour the dead. They replaced Charon as the transportation to the other world. The Funeral Patrol proudly looked at them and believed that had he not died, their sergeant would have been one of them.
The six mourners acted as the pallbearers with the ladies in the middle carrying their sergeant on his final patrol in a coffin covered by the Stars and Stripes; the only bright colours on the gloomy grey day. They were led by an Old Soldier beating a black muffled snare drum. Behind them was a captain with Sam Browne belt and sabre, a Veterans Administration chaplain holding a Bible, and in columns of two a bugler and firing squad carrying the Springfield rifles their Platoon Sergeant would have been issued when he enlisted in 1940. They had placed First Sergeant chevrons they bought at an Army-Navy Store inside the casket.
The Chaplain must have said the same words before, and to more and perhaps to less mourners than there were today, yet he intensely looked at the six and quoted Emily Dickinson,
‘Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.’
None of them flinched during the firing of the rifles and the bugle playing Taps.
A unanimous vote said that Athena should be presented with the Stars and Stripes that covered his casket.
The brains trust expertly folded the flag into a triangle as the muffled drum continued to sound. Katrina sang the Civil War veteran Horace Lorenzo Trim’s lyrics to Taps that the obscurist had found,
‘He’s at rest,
with the blest.
For his Country
do his best.
Put the flag
on his breast.
The drum rolled, the firing squad presented arms…Their captain presented Athena the folded flag and thanked her for the sergeant’s service to the United States of America.
Athena provided enough tears for the entire patrol.
Like panic, tears were contagious. The men clung to the disciplined but icily sympathetic Katrina as if she were a life raft in a tumultuous sea.
As the professor comforted Athena inside their hotel restaurant, the philosopher pronounced,
‘Athena’s the brains of this outfit, but Katrina’s definitely the heart…’
The ladies felt as if they were now an integral part of the platoon and its brains trust. The sergeant remained in command in the form of legendary and hilarious anecdotes and would always do so, for love was immortality.
The portrait in the sergeant’s room would now be in Katrina’s…
Katrina had the obscurist, Athena had the professor, the philosopher and psychiatrist had male company in bars and taxis.
* * *
Then it was time to go the way of the four winds from whence they came.
Katrina organised her and Peter staying with her parents in Lincoln Square to continue their holiday…and to keep him from being alone…
Things were different at Rico’s that evening.
Not only was it the usually silent Katrina who was holding court with a story, though Peter occasionally added details or clarified some things, but Rico sat with the gang at the Down and Outer’s table.
When she finished, Rico had a pensive look on his face, for he had been in the same 1st Infantry Division that the sergeant had been in, though in a different regiment.
‘I knew a lotta guys like that in my outfit durin’ the war. They never wore their stripes in the field because of the snipers, then they lost ‘em when they got drunk in some town somewhere afterwards, then they gave ‘em back to ‘em when they needed guys who knew what they were doin’. When it wasn’t kill-or-be-killed, they switched off and they just weren’t interested in anythin’ except the booze. But BOY! When the shit hit the fan, they pulled everybody’s chestnuts outta the fire! I always thought about ‘em, and what would happen to ‘em after the war…But after the war I had no time to think about anything except work and home.’
‘We will always think about him’, sighed the heart as she squeezed the obscurist’s hand.
Author Notes: Lest we forget...