Memorial Day Thoughts

I was married to a Marine – once upon a time. And in my heart, there is a room set aside for the military, a room full of tender love and respect.  Even though the men I knew were chock full of bluster and arrogance, they also had brave hearts and uncommon courage when it mattered. Yes, they were human, but they were also heroes in the making. 

Memorial Day is for honoring those who died in our service. Not just served but the ones who faced mortal enemies and lost. And all for an ideal. I wonder, as we move forward into troubled times, if we have become the nation they believed we could be. The nation we should be. I’m not preaching a cause and I don’t care what your stand on politics is. Today is a day to recognize their sacrifice, to acknowledge that someone’s spouse, sibling, or child died so you could live the life you have. Today is a day to consider what it means to be worthy of that sacrifice, that gift.

Are we living up to that legacy? Or is there still work to be done?   


Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known only to God.

THE UNKNOWN

I do not understand…
They bring so many, many flowers to me—
Rainbows of roses, wreaths from every land;
And hosts of solemn strangers come to see
My tomb here on these quiet, wooded heights.
My tomb here seems to be
One of the sights.

The low-voiced men, who speak
Of me quite fondly, call me The Unknown:
But now and then at dusk, Madonna-meek,
Bent, mournful mothers come to me alone
And whisper down—the flowers and grasses through—
Such names as “Jim” and “John”…
I wish I knew.

And once my sweetheart came.
She did not—nay, of course she could not—know,
But thought of me, and crooned to me the name
She called me by—how many years ago?
A very precious name. Her eyes were wet,
Yet glowing, flaming so…
She won’t forget!

 – E.O. Laughlin


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