Faded: Such a Sad Song of War and Youth

Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!



A faded photo in an album sixty-plus years of age. A young man, in military uniform, sword held bravely aloft, black arm-band a darkness against a black-and-white image. He stands, this child-man, this boy only just out of his teens, in a make-shift graveyard, surrounded by other, even younger in some cases, men.

They are burying a colleague, killed in war. The sword-hefting Captain – at twenty-two, the highest-ranking officer – is in charge. You can see the cost, even at this remove, upon his face – and, as a sad addendum – in the faded neat script above the photo, words which point to one of the silent watchers and tell of his death in action shortly afterwards.

The swordsman in that faded scene was my father. The Theatre of War, Korea in the early fifties. The dead man – a cheerful youth who laughed and loved and…

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