This is a bittersweet one shot that I had to write for a History thing about the Vietnam Memorial. I hope you like it :)

I walk past pane after pane of black marble. I know well the place where rests the name I cherish. I see my reflection in the mirror-like rock, polished to perfection by tears wept by so many people seeing names of their brothers, husbands, children, fathers, friends, grandfathers, and cousins. Each name inscribed in the memorial sinks deep emotions of loss and pride into the slate. This melancholy mix of emotions is stirred in each and every person around me, in their sad smiles and salty tears.

I reach the slab of shining marble I am most familiar with, and my eyes connect with the all-too familiar name etched in the stone: Roger C Rose. Beyond his name, I notice again, my reflection. I focus only on my eyes, his eyes. The sweet, warm color of caramel. Everything else about me is my mother: my blond hair, my thin lip, my button nose. Seeing "father's" eyes staring back at me, I can almost believe that he is smiling at me like he used to, calling me beautiful. I can nearly feel his hands holding me still and brushing my hair away from my face as I sit upon his knee, as I did when I was young. I can smell his breath, thick with the scent of coffee, and I feel it tickling my ear as he whispers, "I'm proud of you, baby girl."

"No, Dad," I whisper, smiling and staring at the name as a single tear rolls down my cheek. "I'm proud of you."