Exactly 13 years ago, I left my mark inside the Air Force Memorial in Washington DC. I was stationed at the Pentagon as a writer for the Secretary of the Air Force, responsible for covering, among other things, the construction of the memorial next to Arlington Cemetery.
By July 2006, I was a familiar face at the construction site, and the day the last section was lifted, the retired general overseeing the project called me down.
“I want your name to be on it,” he explained. “You’ve done good work for us.”
Other Airmen signed other spires as part of ribbon-cutting, DV, and award ceremonies, but I signed the very top section of the spire closest to the Pentagon. And I not only wrote my name, but added Martin and Miss C as proud Air Force family members. That same day, Martin and I took Miss C to the local mall for dinner at Cold Stone Creamery because all three of us enjoyed fantastic metabolism at the time and could get away with finishing off massive waffle buckets of ice cream as a meal.
It simultaneously feels like yesterday and a few lifetimes ago.