About a month ago, we were on a family walk, and the kids insisted that they had enough energy and motivation to walk the four country miles to their Granny’s house. We placed one foot in front of the the other for two miles (except for the smallest child who took turns riding on shoulders). At the two mile mark, there is a little country church…every bit of the church you’d imagine in an old movie. Nothing else visibly surrounds it but trees, open fields, the sound of pumping oil rigs, and an old cemetery. We stopped and rested on a log before cutting across the cemetery to resume our journey. We walked slowly and read the markers. So many of them were covered in moss, their names and memories rubbed smooth. So much history beneath our feet.
We walked past a few more gravestones , reading the words and the names and the years….so many years and so many stories that are no longer told. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed at the stories these men could tell, the things they saw, the battles they fought, the lives that they lived…..here, 2 miles from my house.
This one in particular has floated around my thought the past few weeks…..fought under General Jackson…..lover of the Constitution of the United States……1799-1874. Breathless……history books can’t draw intrigue like this.
My Grandpa was recently moved to an Alzheimer’s unit. He served in the Korean War. His roommate worked on fighter planes during World War II before becoming a pilot. They no longer tell their stories. I wonder how many more of the 60+ Alzheimers residents have unspoken stories of battlefields and grief and victory and hope and despair as they fought for our country.
I pray you have a wonderful Memorial Day today, and that you remember for every story shared, a thousand more have grown silent……but they still join together to write the story of our freedom.