Medals gleamed on the broad chests of strapping straight-backed lads in uniforms creaseless and pressed.
In a smoked-filled room just above the parade route were the invalids.
No one on the street had any idea about the convent of mangled men were watching the procession from a dingy smoked-filled room, looking out at the world from between closed blinds. Their ears were torn between the crashing cymbals and blaring horns of the marching band and the screams of men whose minds were permanently trapped in a waking nightmare; only death could end. The crowd below couldn’t hear their cries.
For the invalids, the parade was morbid curiosity, maybe even a torment for some. Victory is a hollow word to an 18-year-old kid with a face melted by the sticky flames of napalm.
The invalids were casualties of the war that had been too unfortunate to die. They were not to be commemorated with a field of ivory white crosses. They were to be forgotten. The weeping women, the clapping children, the pretty young girls blowing kisses were seeing the preferred unscared faces of war.