John Kerry: Candidate in the Making
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Dearest Mama and Papa,

What can I say? I am empty, bitter, angry and desperately lost with nothing but war, violence, and more war around me. I just don't believe that it was meant to be this cruel and senseless -- that anyone could possibly get near to Persh to take his life. What a God-damn total waste. Why? I was on watch on the bridge when the executive officer came over and asked me if I had a friend called Pershing. I knew immediately it was all over but even when I read the telegram it took moments to sink in. Then I just walked off the bridge and cried -- a pathetic and very empty kind of crying that turned into anger and bitterness.

I have never felt so void of feeling before -- so numb. My God I feel sorry for Shirley …. I just feel so sorry for the whole thing. I am glad that you wrote Mrs. Pershing -- I know that it will mean a lot to her and it was warming to me to know that you did.

With the loss of Persh something has gone out of me -- he was so much a part of my life at the irreplaceable, incomparable moments of love, concerns, anger and compassion exchanged in Bones that can never be replaced -- never be satisfied in memory form. Persh was an unbelievable spark in all of us and we took for granted that we would always be together -- go crashing through life in our unconquerable fashion as one entity. Now that is gone in one incomprehensible moment. Time will never heal this. It may alleviate but it will never heal. If I do nothing more, and if I convince… the others to do nothing more, it will be to give every effort we can to somehow make this a better world to live in and to end once and for all this willingness to expend ourselves in this stupid, endless self-distruction.

Persh's loss will not -- and I don't know why -- but it will not affect my faith, rather strengthen my convictions -- it's the loss of another friend that teaches you so much it would be trite to even put it on paper. I just can't… the picture of the funeral out of my mind…. There is a lot now to say but I really don't want to write about it -- I just don't have it in me. I will write again in a few days. I hope. Take care and God bless. I am thinking of you all.

Much love,