We went there for the beach, but destiny taught us to reflect “bigger.”
War History is warning and reminder that War is a product of Evil that brings nothing but misery, suffering, death and destruction. No one wins. Fallen Soldiers that died young leaving behind grieving orphans, widows and parents can not be raised back from the dead.
As I said, it was the beach that drew us to the Marin Headlands. It’s our second visit to Rodeo Beach. Nope, no Cowboys in these rugged seaside oasis. Just a vast land forgotten by time.
That day, Surfers were riding the waves like Cowboys ride their horses, wild, free, one with Nature, unafraid of unforeseen danger around and beneath them. Complete trust. No fear. Beautifully lost in their adrenaline and adventure. They are a vision of both inspiration and envy. They get to live their passion moment by moment, any day of choosing.
On the right side of the beach stands of what’s left of Fort Cronkhite, a former US Army post that served as part of the coastal artillery defenses of the San Francisco Bay Area during World War II.
The Soldiers at Cronkhite manned gun batteries, radar sites, and other fortifications on the high ridges overlooking the fort.
That day, we get to walk were Soldiers used to walk.
That day, we get to enjoy and respect the Bay like it was in the good old days.
That day, we get to go inside gun battery stations. We get to experience a Soldier’s claustrophobia, discomfort, loneliness, fear and isolation. Few minutes was already unbearable.
The breeze was powerful, strong, brave. I could hear a Soldier’s muffled whisper being carried by the wind. The words unclear, but there is a sad longing in its tone. And dead Soldiers had been patiently whispering everyday close to 8 decades hoping their messages might reach the people they left behind. Ghosts don’t get tired, people do.
Fort Cronkhite was established in the late 1930s. Over 70 years later, still remains the strong “Temporary Wooden Buildings” like the barracks, mess halls, supply depots, chapels, and recreation buildings.
The first unit to move into the fort was Battery E of the 6th Coast Artillery in June 1941.
The Fort was decommissioned in 1974 but it’s heart lives on in every space that still exist. The Fort feels like it’s alive and anytime the Ghosts of the people that once roam its halls and rest in its barracks will come to life like the war never stopped.
We went up towards the coastal side of the hiking trail. From above, the view was magnificent 360 degrees. Just as magnificent were the structures History and Man created. Just as magnificent were the formations Nature molded and shaped with its Elements. In this place, God and Man decided to do a collaborative Art. And yes, it’s a beautiful masterpiece.
Battery Townsley stands tall and proud like it’s ready anytime. Will the U.S. one day use all its weapons of defense? Is there a guarantee that we don’t destroy our Planet with us in it? Are we to face and experience these questions soon? It’s hard to take these reflections seriously when we were having so much fun.
Again, War History is teaching us all to be “bigger.” Our dead Soldiers are trying to rise from their graves to warn us from making the same horrific, deadly mistakes. The consequences of War will be the same regardless of time.
The War in Ukraine is not that far. The War on Humanity and Democracy is already here. We can’t pretend we don’t see it. We can’t pretend it doesn’t affect us. It’s just a matter of time for us to choose sides. Good versus Evil. Heroes versus Villains. Freedom versus Injustice. People versus the Oppressors, Whiners versus Doers.
“Only the guilty are haunted with no safe place to hide. Those with clear conscience are left alone. Ghosts are not the enemy. A Person’s Past is his or her real enemy.”