I worried when the Black River was so low some years, poking along underneath the Main Street bridge in front of our home on Memorial Day. The Gold Star Mothers had just arrived in one of Ludlow’s only convertibles: they struggled out of the car wrapped around in American flags, looking enormous waddling up to the edge
For the past five months, I have been living and working in Berlin, Germany. I went there to live with my cousins and their two young children and to work as a native-English-speaking intern at a Kinderladen called Humpty-Dumpty Berlin, a bilingual daycare which my cousins’ children attend. I also helped out around the house and with the kids at home.
Dear Friends: Our First Amendment right to free expression is sometimes called the “crown jewel” of the Bill of Rights. That somewhat oxymoronic metaphor – a fundamental democratic principle sparkling like a diamond in the coffers of a monarch – reveals an uneasy tension between our democratic freedoms and the worldly powers that guard them.
“Did you see the letters?” asked the little 7-year-old at my side. I had just returned from a trip overseas and was recounting some of the highlights. Letters?
“You know, while you were on the plane and looked down, could you see the letters? Like the ones on the maps?”
Dad was tight-lipped about the war years and only occasionally referenced his having been “stationed in Guam.” In sorting through my Dad’s papers to write his obituary in August 2013, I discovered his certificate for Distinguished Service as a Navigator in nine successful air flights, 1943-1945, to drop bombs on Japan during World War II.