I just watched a Memorial Day video with tears running down my face. Mattie had to get out as she was unsure of what was up. But it did send my mind back 25 years.
The summer of 1995 we spent in Germany. On one of our trips out we went to the American cemetery in Luxembourg. Each one buried there died in the Battle of the Bulge. (Except for Patton who rests there as well) I can still vividly remember and walk through those crosses row on row. It was like being on sacred ground. I felt almost sacrilegious to venture off the paths and into the rows. But I did. I read each cross. Each name. Each date. I can’t even imagine what it was like that awful winter for each one lying there. The cold, the snow, the wind, battle. I found those Known but to God. I found the family members lying side by side. I found the Stars of David. I wondered at each one.
But then something I am sure doesn’t happen very often any more. Around one cross stood a family of all ages. They were laying flowers. I stood at a distance and watched them. Wanted to take a picture, but didn’t. What was it to have family lying beneath the sod in a foreign land? Later before we left the cemetery, I visited the restroom. The women were there. One young lady was commenting, “I am glad they left him to rest here with the others instead of bringing him home.”
I don’t have a cross to mourn this day. But I do mourn for all the others. Tears flowing even as I write. We have so much to be thankful for. Not the least each of those who will never grow old. Whose lives played out too soon. Who saw and knew things we can’t even imagine. Over the last three centuries.
written 25 May 2015