It’s Memorial Day today. What does that mean? According to Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day ) it’s:
“Memorial Day (previously, but now seldom, called Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United Statesfor honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday is now observed on the last Monday of May, having been observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.”
Here are some articles that help us get some perspective on the sacrifices made by some of those serving in today’s military.
Former Brigadier General Carol Eggert walks through stories about 5 women who died in service to their country in this Memorial Day article from 2019. Reading this article can help provide some context about the roles that vets play when in service to their countries and how every role has its risks. https://www.nbcnews.com/know-your-value/feature/memorial-day-5-courageous-women-who-died-service-ncna1010456
Here’s a link to some poetry and writings that honor those who are or were in the military including one from Oliver Wendell Holmes: https://sites.google.com/site/inhonorofourmilitary/a-collection-of-soldier-s-poems
My aunt recently found a death notice of my great uncle William Robinson who was 18 and died overseas in the Spanish American War / Phillipine American War of an illness in 1900. Letters like these remind us that those who die in service to our country are friends, sons, daughters, husbands and wives to many of us and not just names on a monument. At the end of these deaths is a notice to a real loved one and a process of grieving for them and many others.
copy of death notice letter sent to me by Don Bishop, 6 Mullen Hill Rd, Waterford
“May 23, 1900
Mrs. H. S. Robinson:
My Dear Madam,
As the direct commanding officer of Private William S. Robinson I have a very painful duty to perform, one that is very difficult and sad, but a duty nevertheless, and one that must be done. It is a duty that carries with it my sincerest and hearfelt sympathy and in annoucing to you the fact that William S. Robinson has passed away. I beg to be allowed to share the grief that such an announcement always carries with it. He died May 22, of acute febril polyneuritis after being in the hospital about two weeks. His death was much of a surprise to us here because many of us never realized that he was so sick. Everyting was done for him that could be all to no purpose and when notified of the fact that he was sinking I called to see him, but then he failed to recognize me. He died about four hours afterwards at about 8:20 pm. The end was very peaceful and quiet, with our any suffering whatever.
He was buried in the National Cemetary at Manila, P.Il, with full military honors.
Private Robinson had been for sometime on detail at the Headquarters of the Battalion where he gained the good will of all the officers there and they join me in tendering to you regrets and sympathy in your sorrow.
He was a good soldier, very good natured and sunny of disposition, much liked by all his conrades and greatly missed by them and I can assure you that you have their sympany also.
I have enclosed herewith two letters received and will forward you as soon as possible a statement of his effects.
Believe me Madame, Very Respectfully, Lewis Patstone Capt 46th Reg “
A short prayer on Memorial Day:
We show our thankfulness in prayer
This honor you deserve
Giving all for freedom's call
That we may live without reserve.
- Susan Helene Kramer