(Esther 9:28) And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.
We walk gingerly among the gravestones that dot the pathways of our memories. Like those characters in the Spoon River Anthology, shadows arise from the markers and tell their stories. They are stories of love and laughter, of providence and accidence. They touch mystery and mischief. They are stories of deep devotion and unspeakable sacrifice.
These are the sometimes vivid, sometimes shadowy memories of ordinary men and women swept up into the wave of national conflict, ready to answer the call of duty, desiring to live, willing to die, and gradually being forgotten except for this: We choose to remember them.
We strain to remember them.
In the dash that is their moment between the date of birth and that of death, every choice, every embrace, each and every thought, dream, or word was accomplished and enshrined. Dedicated beneath the stones is a place of memory. Consecrated within the hearts of loved ones are their smiles and presence.
But they too will die and with them, memories.
So we commit and strain to remember. We tell their stories. We exalt their blood offering. We look upon their suffering with gratitude and horror. We hug their children. We remember.
Long after each of us is gone and our names have been erased from the consciousness of all who knew us or of us, we can still be giving and these who died for country will still be loved and appreciated for their selfless gifts. What they gave will keep on giving. So let us be reminded, by their memories, to so live, that every day, we shall create a ripple in the river of life that will freshen the stream for all time.