Friday, October 8, 2010

October 8, 2010 A Life Remembered Again

Scott A. Christofferson, Vietnam 1967

Silver Star Medal

Last year I wrote this post A Life Remembered about a fellow soldier who served in the Vietnam War and was killed in action on October 8, 1967.  Specialist Scott A. Christofferson was a combat reporter for the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division and stayed behind to cover the withdrawal of his comrades. For his bravery he was awarded the Silver Star.

Today on the 43rd anniversary of his death I pause to recall his service and call attention to a book of Scott's writing and poetry, that was assembled by his sister Carrie Christofferson Handy, who decades later, found a box of his letters stored in a closet. The book, Your Hero and Mine, Scott was reviewed here  in a post last year.

As I noted in the earlier posts, I came to know of Scott Christofferson when one of Scott's nephews, sent an email out to the office staff where he worked, describing his uncle, and calling attention to a website dedicated to his uncles memory. I am most grateful to Jeff Lammert and his brother Matt, for introducing me to Scott through his book. Getting to know these two young men, over this past year has left me confident that Scott can look down; and be rightfully proud of his kin, for they still hold him dear in their hearts and are living their lives as if his hand is on their shoulders.

One of the most moving things I found in Your Hero and Mine, Scott; was short poem that introduced the chapter VIII, October 8, 1967. The irony of it is even more compelling when compared to a passage written to his wife shortly after being relieved as second in command of the 1st Infantry Division after the invasion of Sicily. He wrote:

The longer I live the more I think
of the quality of fortitude-
men who fall,
pick themselves up and stumble on,
fall again,
and are trying to get up when they die.
Major General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. 1943

And 24 years later this was penned:

The jaded man stumbles again;
for the last time,
He tries with all his strength
to regain his feet,
But his muscles are all played
out with past efforts,
He dies struggling to stand
once more,
He dies grimacing with trial
But struggling also with a faint,
sweet smile,
For he knows he has lived.
Specialist Scott A. Christofferson, 1967

The irony is cause for quiet reflection.

1 comment:

Fred Leland said...

Ispiring post sir thanks for sharing.