Among the trees, flowering shrubs and manicured lawn they lay,
side by side,
each with their resting place marked
by a grave marker and American flag.
For this is a National Cemetery --
one of many and it is the final resting place for
Veterans of World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam and more recent conflicts.
Comrades in arms;
both those who have passed on full of years
and those who died while in the prime of their life.
The flags -- small and large --
wave in the breeze on the hillsides here;
so many lives--so many stories told and untold.
We come here-
children and other descendants, schoolmates, friends
and parents too.
Veterans and civilians,
some who have not forgotten the ferocity and cost of battle;
others who just feel the need to remember, to witness
the service and the sacrifice
of the precious souls at rest in this hallowed ground
above the city.
"You're his witness now.
Without a witness, they just disappear."
Blessings to the families of our fallen Veterans today.
May you find peace in the midst of your loss
and may you know we will remember.
Update: May 2012.
My heart breaks as I listen to the evening news.
Another son; an only child lost on a battlefield far from his native land.
I want to take away this family's pain; dry their tears.
I want them to know another person cares for what they are suffering.
That for some of us this is not just another day.
I want them to know that the death and service of their son will always be remembered.
This post is humbly dedicated to the memory of that fallen Marine
and to the memory of all those lost.
May peace flood their hearts
and may peace be granted all mankind.
Note: above quote taken from 'Taking Chance', HBO films, 2009. USA.
Photos taken spring 2011, Willamette National Cemetery.