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Blackie's book



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<< Instead, what would interest me is what people are doing to try to =
work
this out through their work.  >>

 Tuesday morning I spread my bookbinding tools on a table and sat down =
to fold and sew the stack of paper that would become a tribute book for =
"Blackie", a Marine who fought on the island of Iwo Jima . . . and for =
all Marines who left their youth on that island.  On the top signature =
was the famous picture of the flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi.  The phone =
rang; my husband called to tell me to turn on the television.  It was at =
least twenty-four hours before  I turned the television back off.  My =
point of reference to everything had changed with the skyline of New =
York.  I was born in New York, and it is still the home in my heart. =20
Instead of nulling out, I folded and sewed those eleven signatures with =
a vengeance.  I was determined to finish the book before nightfall, and =
maybe I did.  I don't know; I didn't notice when night fell here in the =
state of Washington.  The next day I remember leafing through the book =
without any memory of binding it.  Falling steel and shards of glass =
poked the holes that would guide my needle through the signatures;  they =
were bonded together with the glue of 1,000 workers holding hands to =
lead the way out of abject darkness; bound between bomb bursts of WWII =
and the World Trade Towers imploding into themselves . . . both seen =
through a sepia haze.  The book felt ageless in my hands.
I checked my e-mail and printed the side by side pictures of the two =
battlefield flag-raisings: Iwo Jima and New York City, and tipped the =
page into Blackie's book.  One of the WWII Marines told me he scratched =
"God Bless America" in the dirt after he'd been hit back in 1945.  If I =
were in New York now, I would scratch a like message for/from those of =
us wounded and killed in this battle:  "God Bless America -- Again."

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