Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Memorial Day Sonnet
by Garrison Keillor
We're here to honor those who went to war
Who did not wish to die, but did die, grievously,
In eighteen sixty-one and in two-thousand four
Though they were peaceable as you or me.
Young and innocent, they knew nothing of horror ---
Singers and athletes, and all in all well-bred.
Their sergeants, mercifully, made them into warriors,
And at the end, they were moving straight ahead.
As we look at these headstones, row on row on row,
Let us see them as they were, laughing and joking,
On that bright irreverent morning long ago.
And once more, let our hearts be broken.
      God have mercy on them for their heroic gift.
      May we live the good lives they would have lived.
   (A Prairie Home Companion, May 29, 2004)

My family spent a little time this morning attending a Memorial Day service. We heard two state senators and the mayor speak. We sang The Star Spangled Banner and recited The Pledge of Allegiance. We listened to someone sing "God Bless the USA" and someone play "Taps" on their trumpet. We watched an honor guard place a wreath on the veterans' memorial. We waved our little flags and remembered those who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms through the generations. I got misty eyed more than once.

This afternoon we had a cookout with white hots (we've been saving them in our chest freezer since our trip to Rochester last year) and watermelon and potato salad.
We had root beer floats for dessert.

But first and foremost, today we flew our flag and remembered. How grateful we are for those who have served our country and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms!

"May we live the good lives they would have lived."
 View from a Gettysburg battlefield, May 2011

1 comment:

Carolyn Berry said...

We flew our flag, too, starting about 24 hours ago, so I left the porch lights on all night. Our homeschooled grandchildren have not learned about wars yet, so we didn't emphasize the veterans part yet, other than in the blessing on the food at noon today. We ate hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, potato chips, raw vegetables and fresh fruit, and then went to the pool in the backyard. We had an enjoyable day. Next year, I hope we will be able to do some of the patriotic things that you did today. "God Bless the USA" is one of my favorites...