It's not quite holiday weather here today, with the warmth of the sun and bright skies and the snap of flags in the sunshine, the smoke of a thousand backyard grills raising delicious scents into the Spring air. There were no sunbeams to wake to, but the damp skies will not dim the services and celebrations of this long Spring weekend.
But weather hasn't much to do with the feelings that surround this special day, this day of remembrance and honoring and taking stock of our nation's blessings. The placing of wreaths, the little flags stuck into the earth of countless graves, the floral tributes, the handful of limp posies clutch-wilted in a child's hand, the tears of remembrance---those will quietly and reverently go on even as the scent of charcoal drifts up and the promised rain comes down.
I have a deep-imprinted vignette in my memory-collection, of sitting there in a hot scratchy dress several years ago, to see my dear Mother-in-Law receive the folded flag "With the thanks of a Grateful Nation." And so we remember GrandDaddy, in all his twenty-something years of service, and I keep a secret, heartfelt gleam of pride for our other servicemen and women, and those we'll never know of as we sleep safely on their watch.
And just looking at the flowers in the picture above, the two tall, stalwart reds and the smaller, just-as-strong pink, I think of all our sisters and daughters in uniform, especially the one determined young woman who left for training just this past Monday with the tiny tremolo of our long-ago bedtime “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” echoing in my heart. I gratefully salute the strong, brave women who step up to the mark, who serve standing proud beside the men whose strength and bravery have stood true for centuries.
We feel a surge of gratitude, of pride, of thankful praise for all the ones who take our well-being and our freedom so seriously that they live and die for it, and us.
And so I say "Thank you," to each and every one, and give a prayer of thanks for all of our service-people, past and present---those standing proud in uniform today, those who have served, no matter what the term, those who have retired from their service, but remain ever soldiers, those lying beneath the brave small flags, and those in unsung graves around the world, known only to the angels and remembered in the hearts of those who loved them.
114 YEARS AND SIX DAYS
114 YEARS AND SIX DAYS