I was in the library between meetings last Sunday. I went to get books for Bryce. I’m pretty sure we or he’s read all the books in our home that aren’t in my or Dawn’s library. Though we never restrict him from any book in the house, he prefers books with pictures to pastoral theology or media studies. He’s seven. I’m giving him time.

At the Harold Washington Library Center, when you rise on the main escalator, you can look up and see a curiously marvelous installation. There are thousands of dog tags from veterans of the Vietnam War. I didn’t read the description on the wall, but I did stand on the landing for a few beats and imagine how many tags were there. I wondered about those warriors. I was thankful and conflicted. I thought about the protests of that war and the images I’ve seen of the war and the protests.

While I was there, no one else looked up at the ceiling. I’m not sure how many people saw the breath-taking identifications. It dawned on me that most people could come and go and not see overhead.


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