Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day

Our nation is getting ready to enter the Memorial Day weekend.  For some it's an opportunity for a quick mini-vacation out of town, a trip to Disneyland, a back yard barbecue or maybe just a beer fest and watching the car races.

For far too many, loved ones of those who've given their lives for this nation,  Memorial Day is a day to honor the fallen.  Flowers and miniature flags will adorn the graves in a thousand cemeteries across our land.  Families will stand or kneel by these graves and recall the moment when that military chaplain walked up to their door wearing a sad and forlorn face.  They will recall the wracking sobs they thought would never end as they contemplated living their remaining years without someone who occupied such a large place in their lives.  And they, above all, will know the depth of sacrifice offered for the love of country.

Memorial Day originated in the years immediately after the civil war.  In Richmond, Virginia families began visiting the graves of their war dead, leaving flowers and flags.  This tradition soon spread across the country as Americans chose to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Tens of thousands of our fallen lie in graves across the globe as they never returned home.  Even today, Europeans walk the long rows of American graves in a dozen military cemeteries across peaceful green fields in small peaceful villages.  They offer flowers and tears of gratitude for those who fought and died to secure their freedoms.

The flag ceremony on Memorial Day is perhaps the most elegant of all; as dawn spreads across our nation the flag is raised to its highest point, then lowered to half mast to honor our fallen warriors.  Then, at noon, it is again raised to the top of the flag pole, thus conveying to our honored dead that, thanks to their sacrifice, America still breathes the invigorating air of freedom!

As always, I dedicate this blog to my military brothers and sisters who didn't make it home for a last look at what you were fighting for; I can still see your young faces in my dreams, frozen in time and in restful peace, knowing you gave your all.  And I pray for peace and comfort for their families who bear the greatest burden.


John said...

You said it beautifully

Ken said...

You bring tears to my eyes this morning, thanks for your beautiful writing. The picture of grateful Europeans got me. We don't hear to many good things from them these days.
I will be spending the day at the Presidio in San Francisco visiting my father. He served in WWII and fortunately for us came home and was a great dad to all five of us. Only wish he was still here, he's my hero.

A Modest Scribler said...

Thanks, John and Ken.

Frank said...

The young Widow laying on her husbands grave may be one of the saddest in history but it is the true face of ultimate sacrifice. You can't see the pain in her face, but it can be imagined. I grieve for her every time I see it. Memorial Day is for her and the many thousands like her as well.

A Modest Scribler said...

Frank, I felt exactly the same way when I saw that pic. It truly is more valuable than a thousand words.

Carol said...

Once again, beautifully said! Thank you to all who have served and to you as well! I, for one, appreciate your service ~

Ken said...

Thank you once again for this beautiful tribute. Once again you have my heart and my eyes fill with tears. Again we will spend the day at my Father's grave saluting him and all the other Soldiers buried at the San Francisco Presidio.

Thank you for your Military service and your continuing service here hopefully slapping awake a dieing country. Makes me sad to think of all the Soldiers who may have died in vain to protect a country who shits on them so much today. I pray for all the families of the Iraq vets who were wounded or died to watch this social experiment in the white house let it all be for nothing. I can't believe we would let this happen. I'll stop, rant isn't right today I suppose. Thank you again, Dearel.


A Modest Scribler said...

Thanks, Carol. I hope you get to take the holiday off and relax a little....I know your business keeps you busy.

A Modest Scribler said...

Have a wonderful visit with your father, Ken. Cemeteries on Memorial Day are very special and uplifting. And thanks again for your kind thoughts.