It's not quite holiday weather here today, with the heat 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. I awoke to the patter of a soft rain, falling gently onto the shrubbery outside my window, and can still hear the drops cascading from the big old bush over right outside the kitchen, to the homey tempo of Chris cutting corn at the sink.
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 are quietly and reverently going on even as the scent of charcoal drifts up and the rain comes down.
I have a deep-imprinted vignette in my memory-collection, of sitting there in a hot scratchy dress, 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 the other servicemen we know, and those we'll never know of as we sleep safely on their watch.
And so I say "Thank you," to each and every one, and give a prayer of thanks for all of our servicepeople, 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 known only to the angels and remembered in the hearts of those who loved them.
Pictures and music and worthy words: