In April 2015, Jim Northrup and I were featured speakers at an evening program titled, “Making Meaning of Vietnam.” I will always cherish the memory of Jim, sitting a few feet from me, nodding in agreement and encouragement as I spoke. Jim followed me. My sister videoed Jim’s presentation. As I sat watching the video this afternoon, listening to him speak and read his poetry, I reflected on how the war affected combat veterans.
About two weeks ago I was invited to attend an Ojibwe Bear Claw Ceremony. During the ceremony our host presented me with a beautiful eagle feather. “Every warrior should have one,” he told me.
I am deeply humbled and will attempt to live the Seven Sacred Teachings that the eagle feather symbolizes:
Honesty, Truth, Humility, Love, Wisdom, Courage, Respect.
I remember the evening of the reading, Jim invited my sister, her husband, and me, to join him, his wife, and friends at a small restaurant for dinner. During those couple of hours as we ate and visited, I glimpsed several of those Seven Sacred Teaching virtues as I listened to Jim–especially Humility.
Even though you’re a Marine, Jim, I’ll bid you Fair Sailing.
(I will send the Jim’s video to his family. I hope they post it on YouTube for everyone to see.)