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Memorial Day 2012

Here we are at Memorial Day again.  The ninth 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 another mixed year here at the Castle.  .

We did fewer memorial posts this year than past years at the Castle.  But my god, we weren't ready to say goodbye to Lex...

They're gathered here, In Memoriam.

There is always  Mom and 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.  

Mom's Daffodil

We established the Memorial Chapel in the Woods in honor of Preston.

Piddler's Green has too many new residents.

And, as always, 2nd Lieutenant Leonard Cowherd III, the Castle's Avatar of the Fallen.

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 Buries 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


Some remember and understand.

Spotted yeterday on I-40 in Arizona was an 18 wheeler with a U.S. flag flying from the trailer's rear doors.  Posted alongside a hand lettered sign saying something like:

"Honor the men who died defending our freedom!"

He earned my salute!  Probably a fellow vet.  
"They are not truely gone until we forget"

The Orthodox funeral/memorial service ends:

Priest Give eternal rest, O Lord, in
blessed repose, to the souls of your
servants NN, who have departed
this life, and make their memory
Choir. (Slow Chant)
Memory  eternal
Memory etermal
Memory eternal

Many families have a Panikidha (memorial service) sung on the yearly anniversary of a persons repose.  Some that I have heard going on close to a hundred years.  One Serbian church we attneded while traveling had the memorial service for those who died at the Battle of Kosovo....the one in 1389.  Some members of the parish had ancestors who fell then.
oops...helps if I add the link.  This is from a funeral, real people, not a professional choir, just to give you an idea:

Speaking of late lamented Lex, hs daugter Kat has unlocked the site again to say thank you.  And, we again have access to the treasures lurking in the archives there.

Best news I have heard all day!
Thanks John! You have been on the path with us for the past eight years and we appreciate it!
I always honor and remember all my fellow Marines who have died. Those who came before, and of course those who came after my service.  They are all family in any Marine's eyes, family by tradition and heritage and deed, if not necessarily bloodline.

Semper Fidelis to them all.

Good night Chesty, wherever you are...
I think of my Marine uncle George, who didn't come back from the Pacific. (not very pacific at that time) I think of my Uncle Wilson, who left the planet via the Hemingway method (there was some splatter) but I don't blame him for it, as everyone in the family said that he was never the same again after he had to go and play Infantry games in New Guinea.
John, NTA, I thank you for that. I just loaded The Captain's page and left a comment for the Kat.
Ya know, I don't think I ever addressed Lex by any word except "Cap'n" or "Sir."

He was that kind of guy. 

I do miss Lex horribly.