Writers Tricks of the Trade ISSUE 1, VOLUME 9 - Page 13

L IFE S TORIES BY K EITH B ETTINGER A MONG THE S HADOWS AND S TONES K EITH B ETTINGER WRITES STORIES THAT TOUCH YOUR HEART . T HIS YEAR M AY 27 MARKS M EMORIAL DAY , AND NO STORY COULD BE MORE APPROPRIATE FOR THIS ISSUE THAN THIS ONE . I don’t know if my feelings and priorities about Memorial Day were different in 1999 because the holiday fell on May 31, as it used to in the past. Maybe, it was the impending calendar change to the new millennium. It might have been that my own 50th birthday was approaching, arriv- ing right after the millennium change. That could have made me more reflective as I approached my own half century. It also could have been that during the previous year, I saw the movie Saving Private Ryan. When I walked out of the theater, I was emotionally exhausted. I came away saying, "Every politician should have to watch this film, before he can vote to send someone W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE T RADE else's child off to war." Maybe my observa- tions were distorted when I looked at Viet Nam veterans. I thought to myself how old they appeared to be, and suddenly, I real- ized these are the American heroes of my generation. I do know that my father and my uncle are both veterans. They entered the service near the end of World War II, and at the time my uncle was in his 80s and my father had recently passed away at 80. The other veterans from World War II are older and it just seems that all the sacrifices of their generation are being forgotten as time passes all of us by. My wife and I talked before that holiday P AGE 8 S PRING 2019