Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Photo Tribute

Who do they die for, the soldiers we honor today?

Is it the past; for our traditions, our foundations of freedom, our long-burning light for the world?

Is it the present; for brothers and sisters and children and folks who need protection now to secure their futures?

Or is it our future; for the opportunity to live in a world where there is more freedom and less warfare?

All that matters of course is the sacrifice, the tens of thousands of greatest sacrifices of all that we honor today. And for that, I'll turn to my past, present and future, my first born, back when I was young, who works with me today, and who I pray will be carrying some part of me forward when I'm gone. She is in Washington DC now and I am borrowing my Memorial Day post from the photos she has posted on her trip blog.

Every star on this long, long wall represents one soldier, sailor or marine who lost his or her life in WWII. One of them is for my mom's cousin Christopher Fassnacht, who's bomber was shot down over Germany. Thankfully, one is not for my father, who survived submarine warfare in the Pacific to return and live out his part of the Greatest Generation.

I would like someday to help place the 260,000 memorial flags at Arlington -- but that honorable task is assigned to the Third United States Infantry Regiment (the Old Guard), not mere civilians like me.

The Vietnam War Memorial moved my daughters greatly, as it does so many. ID #1 has many, many photos of it up on her blog; here's a selection.

The note says, "I love you -- you are my light. I'll miss you as long as the Sun turns in the sky. Ann." Michael H. Cavanaugh, you died for your country many years ago and still your light burns, as do so many lights, so many flames of freedom whose lives may have been cut short, but whose flames burn on.

I'll close with this powerful photo. The Korean War troops patrol in the shadows, their faces etched with the sharp attention they are focusing on their duty; it is as if they are eternally on a dark and dangerous patrol to protect America, who you see in the background, swathed in bright sunlight.

God bless our troops.