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A Public Apology
by David Story
09/10/08
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I owe my friend an apology.

She doesn’t know I owe her one, but I do…

It happened as she came in for her shift at work. There was a song she was excited about and she wanted to play it for me.

It was a song about war.

It was a song about sacrifice.

It was a song about a fallen hero.

But I didn’t have the time to listen.

I was too busy.

The song she wanted me to hear was called ‘Unsung Hero.’ It was by a woman named Mary Rose Varo, and it was about a small community that pulled together after hearing that two of their own had fallen in battle.

But again, I was too busy.

I told her maybe we could listen to it later. Not sure when later was, I just knew that I was too busy to listen to it then.

She politely said later would be fine.

What was I too busy doing?

I was too busy getting ready to go on my break.

And it was as I was on my break and retrieving my lunch when it happened.

I saw the picture.

It was in a frame that had the word Marines written on each side of it.

It was a picture of my friend’s son.

A son who had died in Afghanistan.

I stopped.

I put my lunch back in the refrigerator and immediately went and found my friend, and together we listened to the song.

I watched as she listened.

I watched as tears formed in her eyes.

And I was ashamed.

Ashamed that I’d forgotten.

Forgotten about the Twin Towers.

Forgotten about the Pentagon.

Forgotten about the Pennsylvania field.

Forgotten about September 11, 2001.

Forgotten about the ones who sacrificed all, and the loved ones they left behind.

And so I submit this article as a public apology.

I’m sorry, Penny.

Please forgive me.

May I never again forget.

And may I one last time submit…

I’m sorry.

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