Memorial Day Weekend is later this week. It is the “unofficial time of summer”, the weekend when white shoes and white clothes are “authorized”, the weekend of crowded roads leading to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and beyond to the ocean, the time to get the grill out, the weekend for the Indianapolis 500.
Memorial Day Weekend is also the time to get out the flag, and to spend some time thinking about those who gave the last full measure of their lives in service to their country.
This year we will, once again, hear motorcycles as people ride in to pay tribute to the fallen at the memorials of Washington DC. Memorial Day is the day to honor the fallen at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery.
A poem, written by “W.K.” in 1942, reminds us of the loss felt upon the death of a serviceperson’s buddy. I know, from understanding what my uncle who served in the Pacific Theater could not say, that loss is deep and lasts a lifetime. In honor of those who died in service to their country:
Our hearts in chasms deep are lost
For one who rests beneath a cross
Upon some distant mountain side
Or, in some fertile valley wide
Where once the conflict fiercely raged
As brutal, useless war was waged
To satisfy the whim of men
That history dark records again
Perhaps some springing flower bright
Is guarding thru our comrade’s night
Or, could the olive branches shade
For him a lasting peace have made
We cannot claim to understand
Yet, faith has lent a helping hand
We know, as war her harvest reaps,
Our Buddy is not dead – He sleeps!