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I don't know you.



Published: Fri, September 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



I don't know you.

I don't know your face. I'm not sure if you have brown eyes or red hair. I have never held your hand or kissed your face. I wouldn't recognize your step in the hallway or your trademark high five.

We haven't shared a joke or a beer.

We didn't go to school together .

My mom didn't know your mother when we were kids, and I didn't meet you at the company picnic last August.

You're just a name.

You're only one name, neatly typewritten on a piece of ordinary paper. One name out of hundreds. A name your parents' gave you. A name you signed on checks, on your kids' report cards, on your driver's license with the picture you told everyone how much you hated.

But you are more than just a name. You are somebody's father. Somebody's mother. A daughter. And a son.

You are my best friend. The guy I used to go out with. The lady down the street who always waved from her car. You're the gentleman who held the elevator for me. The nurse who held my hand when I had my first daughter.

You are my teacher, my neighbor, my doctor, my husband, my daughter.

You are my loss. My memory. My love.

You are an American.

You are not forgotten.

ELIZABETH SAILOR

New Wilmington




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