Sunday, May 28, 2017

To the Heroes of the Devil's Arcade

You said heroes are needed, so heroes get made.
Somebody made a bet, somebody paid.
The cool desert morning, then nothin' to save
Just metal and plastic where your body caved.
The slow games of poker with Lieutenant Ray
In the ward with the blue walls, a sea with no name
Where you life adrift 
With the heroes of the Devil's Arcade...

Springsteen's Magic CD has been on heavy rotation in my car the past several days.  I think the itch to listen to it again arose because of something my son, Rob, wrote close to a decade ago, which appears annually in this space on Memorial Day and which shall (SPOILER ALERT!) do so again tomorrow, in which he refers to "Last To Die", which appears on Magic.  

"Devil's Arcade" is the penultimate track on that record, and but for the death of Terry Magovern on July 30, 2007, shortly before its release, which led to "Terry's Song" being a late addition, it would have been the record's final track.   Over the course of the past several days, I have listened to it countless times.  I shall carry its resonance with me long after I last listen to it.  

Memorial Day is a day away.  But remembering those who have paid an impossibly high price to safeguard our nation and the things for which that bird and that flag stand is not something that should be confined to a single, twenty-four-hour period annually.  Doing so may have the unintended consequence of allowing at least some of us to believe that the debt owed to them is stamped "paid in full" through the attendance at a Memorial Day ceremony or the hosting of a backyard barbecue. Those who believe that are mistaken.  

For the debt we owe to them is one that can never be repaid.  That does not mean we should not continue to try to do so.  It means that we need to try a little harder.  

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
"Devil's Arcade" - Charlotte, North Carolina
April 27, 2008


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