Spoilers: Mild spoilers from past seasons
Summary: Jack remembers the fallen.
Author's Notes: For the genjackfic "memorial" challenge
Disclaimer: Stargate, Stargate SG-1 and all of its characters, titles, names, and back-story are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Productions, SciFi Channel, and Showtime/Viacom. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be printed anywhere without the sole permission of the author. Realize this is for entertainment purposes only; no financial gain or profit has been gained from this fiction. This story is not meant to be an infringement on the rights of the above-mentioned establishments
It was known as a place of healing. Maybe for some it was. But for him, it was a constant reminder.
Jack walked down the pathway of the Vietnam Memorial, watching as his image glided over the slick granite slabs to his left. His reflection was clear and crisp, superimposed onto the names of the fallen, echoing lost cries, unrealized hopes and dreams, and calls for justice. Through his image, he saw the amalgamation of their battles and efforts, as well as his own trials and triumphs, all of which were magnified by the stately Washington Monument that towered in the background. The juxtaposition always left him speechless.
Jack had few regrets. He did what he felt was best for his country. He served. He fought. He did his duty.
As had they.
As he stopped to gaze at the stalwart solider who stared back at him, Jack thought of those who had fought to the death in the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq…and offworld. He thought about all the John Michaels, the Frank Cromwells, the Henry Boyds, and the Charles Kawalskys.
The Janet Fraisers. The Jacob Carters.
Daniel had once said something about symbolism in memorials, that it was a way to bridge the past and the present. Something about a liminal space between the living and the dead. Jack didn't really care.
For him, a memorial stood as a testament of valor. It gave voices to the voiceless, allowing them to speak of their heroism and undying resolve for their country.
Jack pushed down his own memories of pain, loss, guilt, and raised his hand to salute.
He would never forget.