Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Praise the dead on Memorial Day

The following two paragraphs speak volumes about what we should be remembering on Memorial Day. They are from a new essay being published for Memorial Day, 2006, by Southfarm Press. The book is Good Night Love, Copyright 2006 by Dudley C. Gould (ISBN: 0-913337-56-0).

"I praised the dead I knew personally and as my admiration grew, it dawned on me that the earth is full of soldiers in such numbers as stars in all galaxies; young soldiers gone under the earth to uphold the living, losing their lives that others might prosper unthreatened; quitting life far from home, slipping unknown, unhonored into the deep river of time flowing darkly along.

"The surface of the earth, except where snows lie year-round, is strewn below with the bones of exhausted soldiers savaged and bled. Gettysburg is the mass grave of my great-grandfather’s beloved drummer-boy son, who, as they used to say, died in the Glory of the Lord, and it’s well-known how the Western Front in the first world war turns poppy red each spring from blood of soldiers in the ground—ne funestentur, defiled by death. It did anyway back when people cared. Once there was a day set aside for remembrance, limping veterans selling red paper poppies on Armistice Day. There is no more Armistice Day and poppy vendors hobbled away long ago."

Reconsider how you spend the day before you drive off merrily to a Memorial Day sale at Wal-Mart.---Walter Haan,


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