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Preparing for Memorial Day

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It is not yet the day of remembrance, but we are preparing, leaving town, firing up our grills, and assembling our families and friends. We need such times; we create them; we transform them with the shared love of those who gather and with our stories, laughter, and feasting.

Yet, there will be many empty seats around the tables.

Yet their presence will be felt.

Yet we will have to work at doing what the day calls for: remembering.

Therefore, this shall not be the last post on the subject.

We remember those who followed their deepest sense of duty, loyalty, patriotism, and love of their countrymen. W

e remember them, honor their courage,, and pray for peace. Nothing is ultimately lost, no moment, no tear, no memory. Everything moves, transitions, and finds a new place of meaning, but all that ever was, is, in some way.

Love flows through the conveyances of generations. The laughter of yesterday still tickles our ribs.

The words and deeds of our ancestors still ripple through time and all choices create new streams of consequences and more choices. In remembering, we stir up that which was noblest and best in those who sacrificed for us.

We gather those qualities to ourselves, take them to our hearts, and live them out in our own unique ways.

Wars are political. Warriors do not start wars. They take orders. They stand and advance without considering personal cost in the decision. They do our bidding.

Let us be grateful for them; let us love and support them; let us be careful to build a world where their sacrifice will not be necessary on battlefields and let us make choices to sacrifice little things so that their precious blood will not be required of them.

Let us remember so that we will never forget. We


THE VACANT CHAIR Words by H.S. Washburn Music by George F. Root (1820-1895)

We shall meet but we shall miss him. 
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him 
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer.
When one year ago we gathered, 
Joy was in his mild blue eye.
Now the golden cord is severed, 
And our hopes in ruin lie. 

CHORUS: We shall meet, but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer. 

At our fireside, sad and lonely, 
Often will the bosom swell
At remembrance of the story 
How our noble Willie fell.
How he strove to bear the banner 
Thro' the thickest of the fight
And uphold our country's honor 
In the strength of manhood's might.


True, they tell us wreaths of glory 
Evermore will deck his brow,
But this soothes the anguish only, 
Sweeping o'er our heartstrings now.
Sleep today, O early fallen, 
In thy green and narrow bed.
Dirges from the pine and cypress 
Mingle with the tears we shed.