lights, the spontaneous Christmas carols, the midshipmen anxiously awaiting their leave to start, none of it could make up
for the gloom I felt after visiting the chapel at Annapolis last week.
Harry knew what
was bothering me. All those men, on ‘eternal patrol’, the brass
memorials listing their names, their boats, and whether missing or lost.
We had come
so close to being up there on the wall of tribute ourselves. Some of our shipmates had been lost. One man's error in
judgement resulted in a domino effect, and just bad luck. A tangled mine, one after another exploding, sending Seaview
to the bottom.
us facing death while trying to maintain some order in the ship wide chaos. Hoping, praying, for our luck to turn. I think we’d both pretty much given up, when Chip, through what I can only call a miracle, managed
to bring the diving bell down to us. Air, rescue. Survival. At least for Seaview.
She would be raised. Lives lost could only be resurrected in the hereafter.
So when Harry
saw the tear rolling down my cheek in the chapel, he said nothing, for there was nothing he could say. The silence between
the both of us, mourning our loss, and our near escape a few years ago, was comforting in a way. Two men joined in sorrow.
Two men joined in gratitude, just to be alive.