Memorial Day

May 24: Youngsters from EPS wave American flags as they participate in the ceremony at Glendale Park.(Photo By Jim Mahoney)

Another Memorial Day has come and gone.

This Memorial Day past featured brilliant weather, American flags flying proudly everywhere, and the proper and enduring remembrance of the dead wherever they are buried.

Recalling the bravery and sacrifice of our heroes from year to year is not just a tradition.

It is a solemn obligation.

Woodlawn Cemetery was resplendent.

Flags flew along the length of Broadway Everett.

Everything about our lives is about time passing by.

World War 2 veterans of the war are almost gone.

Korean War veterans are also aging out.

Vietnam veterans – well – they are mostly Baby Boomers – and their remaining time on this earth is a window getting ready to close. Memorial Day for veterans of all the wars who gave their lives in defense of democracy.

To a person, every one of them is a hero worthy or praise and of our eternal remembrance from year to year.

For those of you who lost a son or daughter in Iraq and in Afghanistan, well, there are no words to adequately assuage the grief you feel, and the weight of loss you carry.

The world goes its merry way every day and for those of you who have lost loved ones on battlefields, you are left to your own personal misery.

Unless you have suffered such a terrible loss, it is difficult to understand the true dimensions of the emptiness and the sorrow you are left with.

The following letter to Mrs. Bixby – who lost five sons on Civil War battlefields expresses exactly what we are trying to convey.

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
Dear Madam,–

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully, A. Lincoln

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