The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.”

Memorial Day is a day for thanks and a day for reflection. I hope you remember those to whom we owe so much. This is my annual tribute

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead.” While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860′s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day

“Dulce et decorum est”

The bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings to-day.
The road is rhythmic with the feet
Of men-at-arms who come to pray.

The roses blossom white and red
On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
Flags wave above the honored dead
And martial music cleaves the sky.

Above their wreath-strewn graves we kneel,
They kept the faith and fought the fight.
Through flying lead and crimson steel
They plunged for Freedom and the Right.

May we, their grateful children, learn
Their strength, who lie beneath this sod,
Who went through fire and death to earn
At last the accolade of God.

In shining rank on rank arrayed
They march, the legions of the Lord;
He is their Captain unafraid,
The Prince of Peace . . . Who brought a sword.

Joyce Kilmer

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8 Comments on “The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Happy Memorial Day!

    Christer.

  2. Hedley Says:

    It was D Day, around 7 am the gate went down on the landing craft on Sword beach and 21 year old Eric, headed ashore with the #4 Commando heading to Ouistreham. He was a Commando, he was family. He was to perish right before the war ended.

    My family and I salute all families

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I am so sorry for your loss. It is felt through generations. We salute their bravery, their service and their sacrifices.

  3. Bob Says:

    War is hell.

    General Patton said “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his”. Defeating Hitler and the axis powers was probably the last justifiable war. Since then we have been involved in a series of undeclared conflicts that have had no clear objectives and no clear conclusion. The victors get to write the history but the losers get to write their own version. When I was a kid in the Dallas school system under segregation the civil war was called the “war between the states” and ending slavery was never mantioned as a northern goal. Although removing statues of confederate war heroes was met with extreme white resistance.

    President Bush made it clear that the “War on terror” was not a war on Islam. Today, 17 years later the current occupant of 1600 Pensylvania Avenue has changed the narrative and has declared war on Muslims, Mexicans and all immigrants except those from Norway. Unfortunately, the peace that the Allies set up after WWII is now being dismantled by a wave of nationalism, militarism and a revival of hate for the other. As the last holocaust servivors and WWII veterans pass away the old nemesis of peace raises it’s ugly head around the globe. I’m very concerned for the next generation and the kind of country and kind of democracy they will inherit.

    Patton also said: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

    Remember those brave men between eating a hot dog and a burger at the lake or beach today. Hopefully the freedom they died for will still exist.


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