Whatever your feelings about what happens in war, I hope you remember the living as well as you do the dead. Death is final and forgetful, it's always easier for us to love a ghost. Whatever they've done is done, devoid of pain or joy. Just like they say that artists are loved more after death, the same is true of soldiers. We don't deal well with suffering, we forget to visit our dying relatives because we don't like hospitals, and we prefer to let psychiatrists do the heavy lifting for the wounds we can't see, because we hate to hear problems that don't have solutions.
I've met three soldiers still living, but I know no dead ones. Trust me when I tell you that the living are far more human and hurting than we've ever given the dead credit for being. One of these men is an artist here at Low Tide Gallery. His name is James, and he said to me: "I hate that quote, 'I think therefore I am', I don't believe that one bit. When I interact, I exist."
No retrospective remembrance will ever mean as much as interacting in the moment. There's a strong chance that this story isn't one you'd like to read – it's safer to lay a wreath, hear a speech, and enjoy the soft chill of autumn. But the living need more than a fading memory and a hushed finger across their closed lips. This is James Lightle, and in spite of death, he's alive.
– Steve Skafte