Tuesday, November 3, 2009
There are times in life when we pause as a reminder to ourselves – a reminder that in spite of the daily grind and routine, there are moments that call out, asking us to mark them in some special way. This blog entry represents just such a moment - it is a tribute to two special people whose lives intersected with mine over 60 years ago.
With never “a murmur nor repine” we went gaily off to war together from the Grainfield, Kansas railroad station, Henry, Loren and I. Henry and I came home with our gaiety diminished by one. Loren was buried at sea after Saipan. He had been a gift from the fertile earth, a child of the land, dust and furrows, seeds in springtime, the birthing of piglets, the crowing of cocks and the currying of favors from the unpredictable seasons. No form or logic can account for such a terrestrial child lying down to abide peacefully in the immensities of Poseidon’s immersing embrace.
Except, perhaps as Mother Earth and Poseidon together agreed to give back in equal measure what had been lost at Saipan. Henry became surrogate for the missing Loren. In seedtime and harvest, sun and rain, calm and storm, Henry took up Loren’s stewardship of the land, herder of herds, shepherd of lambs, mender of fences. Henry gave away his gaiety on the islands of the Pacific. There is a completion to things, a time of seasons, interconnectedness, stretching all the way from Grainfield, Kansas to Saipan to Iwo Jima and islands beyond. This completion is a gathering convocation of three small-town boys guided through the somberness of war by the cheer of peace.
This is written in memory of Loren Ikenberry and Henry Doxon and our lost fraternity.
Photo above: (From left), Henry, Loren and Clarence, Grainfield Train Station, September 20, 1943, awaiting the train to take them to Marine base in San Diego.