Monday, May 25, 2009
Although it began as a day to remember those who died in the American Civil War, Memorial Day (once know as "Decoration Day") now honors all U.S. men and women who died while in the military service.
I thought this would be an appropriate time to visit one of our local cemeteries, where grave markers and flags indicate the final resting place of those who served in our armed forces.
Some of these men and women returned home to finish lives interrupted by war. They are recognized on Veterans Day.
Others died in faraway places, fighting for the country that they loved. These are the honorees on Memorial Day.
The peace of the morning was briefly disturbed by the sound of a parade on a neighboring street. There were to be patriotic songs played and heartfelt speeches given at a war memorial in the city park.
I preferred to linger a while with the dead.
"Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold."
"We who are left how shall we look again
Happily on the sun or feel the rain
Without remembering how they who went
Ungrudgingly and spent
Their lives for us loved, too, the sun and rain?"
-Wilfred Wilson Gibson
"United States Flag" by tomsaint11