It was one of those magical LA Sundays with our six-year-old son, Wyatt. At the edge of the Pacific, in Santa Monica, we practiced on his bike with the training wheels. On the beach, we dug “Orcaville” and “Barracuda Falls,” Wyatt’s plastic whales and fishes plunging into the holes as the waves crashed beside us.
We hit the arcade at Santa Monica pier; we ate tacos and quesadillas; we walked to the end of the pier, where just below, a sea lion splashed playfully, looking up — and smiling, we thought — directly at us.
As we walked back down the steps from the pier, Wyatt pointed to the beach — to what, I wasn’t sure at first. We approached. There on a huge expanse of beach stood hundreds of red and white crosses, symbolizing Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.