Day by Day

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial day

There are a lot of other people out there who can express themselves better than I. Better wordsmiths, if you will. So I'm going to keep this post short, because I don't want any of my miserable scrawling to dishonor today.

I'm one of the lucky ones. None of my family has ever died while serving in the military. Four generations of military service, and we've all come home safe. But this war has pushed me into contact with those who have lost a loved one. So this is for them.

This is for WO2 Santos and his family, who dealt with the grief of their son's death with more dignity than I could ever imagine possible.

This is for SPC CedeƱo, who's funeral shut down four city blocks in Santo Domingo. The picture below is of his funeral. The way I was positioned for folding the flag, I was looking directly at his father. His father sat there like a rock, with a hard expression on his face that said "I will not break down". And even when tears were running down his face, he didn't break. He accepted the flag from the General with that same expression, those same tears.

This is for SPC Restrepo, who was saving people's lives up to the point he was killed.

This is for PFC Davila, and for every soldier I've ever given final honors to, and for their families who have to deal with the sudden absence of their loved one.

This is for everyone who is touched by the death of a Soldier. Never forget why they died. Never forget what they did.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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