Monday, May 28, 2012

All Hail the Honored Dead!

This morning my thoughts are turned towards those that trod the echoing path, having succumbed to the drums of war. I assume that there are many who on this day will reflect, even if for just a moment, upon the honored dead.

My thoughts are turned towards the casket that I had to stand by as part of my own duty. In vivid detail the memory of the weeping of the mother over her son’s vessel stands out as details of her whispering ‘when you where little’ were barely audible.

My thoughts are turned towards all the times that I have heard taps playing, only disrupted by the sound of the broken-hearted trying to maintain their composure, before I was to step before a widow, whose partner was gone long too soon, with nothing to offer but a folded up flag and a bit of memorized speech, “On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s service to Country and Corps.”

My thoughts are turned towards the many faces of my brethren alongside whom I have, and continue to serve with. The possibility of death is rarely the choice topic of conversation, not enough vulgarity and crass language for our lot. On the few occasions when the subject has arisen, no one had anything to say. After all, everything that could be said was said in the first few moments, everything else was understood. Sure death could come, but the risk is worth it, this is just accepted, an after-thought to why each had taken their oath.

Mostly though, my thoughts are turned towards those that have come face-to-face with that after-thought as its possibility became reality. These are our ancestors, they, whether willingly or not, were ripped from this realm at the hand of violence.

They are most honored, for when the loom of that violence threatened to rain destruction in its path; they were amongst those that stepped forward in defiance. Upon foreign shore or in our own backyard, they have fought and paid the ferryman his toll.

Death comes; this is a fact that cannot be changed. It is a threshold upon the circle, without which the end would not also be a beginning. Change is the only constant. The eventual descent into the Mother’s Tomb will come. How this happens is not always within our control, but a few, the Honored Dead, never knowing if and when they might be throw into the cauldron, made the choice that when they did, they would have the mark of having been a servant of life upon their breast.

All Hail the Honored Dead!

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."


SquirrelHead said...

I understand actually what you are saying in this one I myself not being of the Armed Services has witnessed my fair share of death of soldiers.And I saw Hail the Honored Dead!!!

Anonymous said...

Well said, and equally felt. Will be sharing this. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post this Memorial Day. I am re-blogging this to my blog linking to you. Thank you.

Spanish Moss said...


I am glad you enjoyed. Thanks for the linking.