Sunday, May 26, 2013

The real American idols and heroes

On this Memorial Day weekend, 4,000 local scouts placed American Flags on the graves of veterans at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery near our house. Thanks to all who served.
 
 
We drove through at dusk. There were so many visitors remembering their loved ones. The tombstones looked like Dominoes. The thought of war makes me sick to my stomach and the loss of so many lives is absolutely heartwrenching.
 
This is only one small section of the cemetery. There are acres and acres of graves of men and women who served our country. My former husband was drafted during the Vietnam Conflict, but he was sent to Alaska. While not a war zone, the climate and wilderness were hostile, yet, nothing compared to those who were in combat.
 
Overcome by sadness, I spied a bit of happiness in the park on this glorious 80 degree evening.
This deer stood perfectly still and allowed me to photograph it.
 
 
Then we saw the herd grazing nearby and meandering across the roads and in and out of slow moving traffic. My dad used to refer to this holiday as Decoration Day, and every year he would pile us into the car and we'd drive a few hours to visit my grandparents' graves in an overgrown family plot at the edge of a farmer's field. I am feeling melancholy. 

11 comments:

Sioux said...

The neatly arranged rows upon rows of military headstones makes the waste--of human life--quite evident.

Where have all the young men gone?
Where have all the flowers gone?

When will we ever learn?

Susan said...

Oh Linda, this holiday makes me sad. Look at all those graves. What tragic loss. Whew! Susan

Chatty Crone said...

I thank God they gave their life to keep me free. sandie

Val said...

An odd kind of balance. The peaceful deer amid the results of war.

Bookie said...

I visited your blog a while ago and saw nothing but pictures. I didn't think it was like you not to "say" a few words! Glad to "see" you again. It is hard to focus on the graves...each representing sadness. IF ONLY, man could learn from the past...I think this weekend gives all melancholy if they pause a bit. I have never been to Jefferson Barracks...I think I want to go, another Bucket List type of thing.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

There have been so many veterans' groups out and about this weekend that my most oft repeated phrase has been, "Thank you for your service." (I always say thank you when I meet one of our military heroes---the older ones appreciate the sentiment; the young ones always seem surprised to hear it.) I regret that those for whom the headstones were set will never hear those words from grateful Americans. God bless all our military and their families.

thisisme said...

Hi Linda. Lovely post for Memorial Day. It really is so touching to see all the graves lined up like that. It really does bring it home to us the terrible, terrible losses in all the wars that have occurred over the years. When will we ever learn?

jabblog said...

It's a very sobering sight - such a waste of young lives.

(You asked what a gilet was It's a sleeveless jacket, usually zipped. I think sometimes they are called body warmers. Gilet is French - pronounced 'jeelay')

Mevely317 said...

I agree, Linda ... there are so many of us feeling a bit melancholy today. (In a way, I feel sorry for those who don't, or who for whatever reason can't.)

Love the sight of that single deer juxtaposed against the grave stones.

K9friend said...

Your photos show the delicate beauty of life against a canvas of life remembered...very poignant.

Pat
Critter Alley

Judy SheldonWalker said...

It is heart wrenching, just as you said. To take a human life is so senseless. I spoke to a mother who just buried her son today. They left him dead in the street for four hours before anyone came to get him and he was only 31. He went out with the guys for a drink after work, had been married one year and had not yet had his first child. Life is so precious and so carelessly taken!