One of my favorite parts of my journalism job was when veterans told me their stories.

They told me how they jumped onto a beach in France, and they told me about sleepless nights in the Vietnam delta.

Sometimes, though, there were stories they weren’t ready to tell.

Sometimes, those memories were parts of their past they preferred to keep there so we let them lie buried.

There were words they couldn’t say, and scenes they didn’t want to replay.

I always accepted their hesitation without question, but earlier this year a book helped me understand it.

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It has contained many stories, and through it their pages come alive with language.
It has heard the voices of veterans, who told tales of fighting for freedom. It has replayed soldiers’ shaky tones as they remembered comrades who didn’t come home. It has documented the struggle and strength of a brave boy who refused to back down or give up throughout a long battle with cancer. Time and time again it has been a megaphone for those who have overcome obstacles and triumphed in spite of tragedy.
It has contained many stories, and within it their essence is preserved.

My 100-word posts are inspired by a WordPress blog called All of 100. The authors of the site, which has been operating since 2009, committed to write 100 words a day – no more, no less. I decided to take up the challenge because I thought it might help me write more concisely. It is more difficult than I thought.