At first light, the memories will find us. They are infinite and deep, though time has stripped away the individuals’ names, their faces even, who fell lifetimes ago on our behalf. Those who fell, fell for the future, for generations hardly close enough to dream about, for worlds not yet born and hopes not yet conceived.
Following the journeys of the fallen, we cannot help but think of Lincoln’s Words, “we can not dedicate…we can not consecrate…we can not hallow this ground.” It has already been consecrated, and we cannot add or detract from it as we keep the sweet and sad memories close in our hearts.
Before the twilight’s last gleaming, we will have followed our fathers and grandfathers, our mothers and grandmothers, our friends and our neighbors’ friends down the long miles of Memorial Day. It is, as Lincoln said in 1863, the “unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”
Our dedication comes at a great expense of time and money as we walk the aisles our ancestors walked according to the customs of their times. The aisles are more modern now: the pickle barrel and the checker board have long since been replaced with the folkways of a new century. But we are diligent. We soldier on from appliances to apparel, from tools to jewelry, from sports and fitness equipment to automotive sales.
When evening comes, the remains of the day will sit upon tables and counter tops in either paper or plastic comprising our developing memories, both sweet and sad, of our trek across the sacred ground, kept pure and holy for those whom we follow into the night.
Excerpted from the Pushcart nominated Jock Talks…Politics