Saturday, May 26, 2018

This Weekend Is Special

(Source)
Yes, this weekend is special. It's the unofficial start to summer, folks are looking forward to the nicer weather and the chance to spend some time in the great outdoors.

Barbecues.

Beaches.

Camping.

Fishing.

Boating.

And various and sundry other summertime activities.

Mind you, I don't begrudge folks the need to do those things. I know that if the ones who paid for our freedoms were still around, no doubt they'd be out there enjoying those very same activities. It's our right, our privilege perhaps, to enjoy these simple freedoms.

Some of us will spare a moment, or more, to remember those who paid that price.

This weekend is special, enjoy it, but perhaps for a moment, spare a thought for those who died for this nation. I will.

The Peacemaker
By Joyce Kilmer

Upon his will he binds a radiant chain,
For Freedom’s sake he is no longer free.
It is his task, the slave of Liberty,
With his own blood to wipe away a stain.
That pain may cease, he yields his flesh to pain.
To banish war, he must a warrior be.
He dwells in Night, eternal Dawn to see,
And gladly dies, abundant life to gain.

What matters Death, if Freedom be not dead?
No flags are fair, if Freedom’s flag be furled.
Who fights for Freedom, goes with joyful tread
To meet the fire of Hell against him hurled,
And has for captain Him whose thorn-wreathed head
Smiles from the Cross upon a conquered world.

Sgt. Joyce Kilmer
69th Infantry Regiment, United States Army
Killed in Action, July 30, 1918
near Seringes-et-Nesles, France




23 comments:

  1. There seems to be an unusually large amount of pollen in Philadelphia today as I think of my father.
    Among other memorials, a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike is named for Joyce Kilmer and it saddens me even more to realize the tiny fraction of people that know who he is.
    Good post.

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    1. I have stopped there more than once, I even knew who he was at the time.

      Didn't know that he'd been offered a commission more than once, but preferred to remain a sergeant. My kind of guy.

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  2. My dad had a copy of "A Prayer Book for Soldiers and Sailors" published in 1941 by the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York that he read during his service time in and out of the States. It's a bit beat up. I'll be reading again from that this weekend.....brings a bit of peace of mind and memories of both my parent veterans along with my mom's dad who served in WWI. Time to place the flags out on the lawn curbside too. Memorial Day is not the only day to remember those who did not back it back home...........

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    1. I remember them every day, it's hard to forget that kind of sacrifice when you've worn the same uniform and swore the same oath.

      Brothers and sisters in arms they were. I will never forget.

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  3. Hey Af Sarge;

    We and those like us honor those that were part of us but paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

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  4. I shall run up the colors, then plant my M-1 Garand in our lawn on it's fixed bayonet, and set my GI steel pot (helmet) on the butt. I will keep watch from my open garage. Later we will barbeque. That is what they would have wanted--remember, then get on with it. Personally, I think the stores should close and dip their flags to half staff. The sales can wait.

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    1. I know, but life, it goes on.

      Those who paid the ultimate price would understand I think, remember them, but press on.

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  5. Soldier,lover of "Trees", and one of Jersey's finest. I will be enjoying this weekend thanks to the sacrifice of so many.

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  6. I grow increasingly humbled by their sacrifice with each passing year, while remaining immensely grateful that I never had to cash "that check" while serving.

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  7. My thoughts are on and with those who have and are served/serving.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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  8. More and more, what used to be a sluff-off or play weekend (with some remembrance) has become introspective, as thoughts of what was, what could have been, pass through my head. Why me? Why am I alive and others not?

    Some may say it's part of growing old. Maybe. Or maturing.

    God protect and shelter all our fallen. May we live well enough to make them proud of us.

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    1. I've always thought that that photo of an eagle sitting on a tombstone at Fort Snelling as if guarding the dead that I first saw at Lex's place summed up today the best. Sarge, my HTML fu as left me tonight, Would you trapse over to the star tribune site and reproduce the photo for the crowd please? PS: Today is our 45th wedding anniversary so make my request your gift, o.k. :)

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    2. See my latest post Virgil. Happy Anniversary!

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    3. Happy Anniversary, VX. Congrats on your 45th.

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  9. Lots of talk recently about the NFL changing their policy towards the Anthem protests. Too little to late for me, but I guess it's welcomed, despite it being about money and nothing to do with actual patriotism. The sacrifices made by those we remember this weekend deserve far more respect than those kneelers even comprehend.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)