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Memorial Day 2010, general.

Here we are at Memorial Day again.  The seventh since these ramparts were erected here in cyberspace.  Per the Governor's directive, the flags will fly at half-staff until noon, when they will head back up the pole.

It was a mixed year here at the Castle.  .

We did far fewer memorial posts this year than past years at the Castle.  But, there were more local ones, and we buried a Fort Leavenworth soldier last week.

They're gathered here, In Memoriam.

But we have a few to add.  Mom is now joined by Dad.   It's in living memory of my mother that daffodils are planted all around the Demesne, by the house, in the fields, in the woods.  And I've finally decided what to name the new gun that will arrive at the Castle next week - the Auld Soldier.

Mom's Daffodil

We can't forget the Auld Soldier's sister, my aunt, Mrs. Elaine Langford.

And, as always, 2nd Lieutenant Leonard Cowherd III.  An early casualty of Operation Iraqi Freedom who touched an old friend of mine, Tony Cerri, who's daughter was married to Leonard.  And the saga of the Cowherd's and the Cerri's is the reason for the holiday.  Len is the Castle's Avatar for Memorial Day.  He captures the youthful potential cut short in service beyond himself.

Lieutenant Leonard Cowherd in the TC hatch of his Abrams in Iraq

I don't mind the sales. Commerce built this country. I don't mind "Going to the Lake" - having fun with family and friends makes life worth living. And this day is about having a life worth living.

And I know that most of us (though not perhaps those who read this space) have no memory of a loved one lost in war. Many of the younger of us don't remember or never knew a relative who served in time of war.

Have a good time. That's the point.

By living your life, planning your future,you redeem the voucher that those who have answered the Last Call for the last time bought for you.

Their service was *all* about the Capital F Future.

Just by living our lives, and taking an interest in what goes on around us, we pay that debt. We can pay it ahead by keeping an eye on those who commit us to war. And recognizing that avoidance for avoidance's sake is as bad in its way as rushing headlong and blindly into battle. Truly, in this arena, the answer lies in the middle, not at the extremes.



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Whatever else you do with your free day - Remember Them. It only takes a moment. But Remember. They are not truly gone until we forget.

For some of us, the true meaning of this holiday doesn't come into focus until we, or someone we know...

Hears The Knock.

Attends The Funeral.

And Bury Our Dead.

This is why today is Memorial Day.

Click here - and Remember.

This is an open post - if you have posting privileges and wish to add to it - please do.  If you don't have posting privileges, feel free to link, or simply remember, in the comments.

Fascinating project using Google Earth - Map the Fallen.  H/t, Old Gaijin


We will remember them.
 "Far called, our navies melt away,
On Dune and headland sinks the fire . . .
  Lord G-d of Hosts, be with us yet,
   Lest we forget, lest we forget."         R. Kipling "The Recessional"

The flag is out at Festung Kleinrot and I'm going to the memorial service later this morning. They are not forgotten.

Never forget,
Always Faithful,
Semper Fidelis. For those who gave their hopes, dreams, and lives so that I can celebrate mine -- may God's blessings fall upon them.
Thanks for the support for the past six years!