Memorial Day 2016

I am sitting here this morning once again. You know they say you can’t go back. You can’t return to history. But in a sense every year we do. As this earth makes its journey around the sun we come back to those points in the sky that we visited the year before. We are in that same space once again. We return to a time of remembrance and memory.

This year I am not able to go to a military cemetery as I did last year and wrote of my journey there. Visiting Mark’s dad. The people I saw. The stories I wondered about.

But I did get a new experience this year.

There is a man here in our little corner of Texas that likes history and researches the history of Lexington and always has a column in our weekly paper with events that happened here in the past that he found in newspaper archives.

He thought of a special project for this Memorial Day. He found out all the Lexington men who died in WWII. He approached the newspaper about a special section to honor them. They loved the idea so he researched and found the men, the stories, the pictures, the tears.

I sat and read that special section this weekend. The young boys who never came home. The young boys who lie in a foreign field. The young boys who only came home in boxes. The young boys from a podunk holler sort of place who traveled for their country.

And even the one that brought the greatest tears. The researcher felt he belonged with the rest even though his death came a bit later. You see he was on Bataan. Enough said. We know the rest of that story. You knew immediately, without reading, the hell he witnessed and was a part of. The horrors that lived with him every single day even after rescue. He survived that three and a half years and came home. But. He was never ok. He was never at peace. He committed suicide. He too had a place.

It is to rain this morning, God will shed his own tears for this weary world, and then this afternoon, I will still take a walk in some cemeteries. Small community ones nearby. Small farm neighborhoods. Small churches. But still in each one lies military dead back to the American Civil War, back to the Texas War of Independence. I will walk and stand and wonder. I will shed a tear. And no matter each individual story, I will shed a tear for each. For those who gave up their youth, even if they came home, for each of us and our country.

Posted to Facebook 30 May 2016.

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