Two times
I saw grandpa cry
First time was at Camp Butler
His only heir was being buried
the casket lowering into the grave
the pale blue eyes were flooded
he was so quiet
The whole place, big cemetery
was quiet too.
A sob was heard here and there
as folks remembered him
the fallen Captain
life snuffed out in far away Normandy
St. Lo, they said.
Fierce fighting
A man of few words
a thinker
who worked so hard
watching his dreams return to the soil
Too soon!
Generations pass
and memories fade, pass away
but there are markers
We should walk there
reflecting on this one and that one
Names from all nations
who became America
and stepped forward for the test
What price will you pay
for freedom?
Dates of first breaths and last
carved into white stones
Long, straight lines, these markers
now stand at permanent attention
Years will pass
the stones will witness those who come
to remember, reflect
on who the person was, what they might have been
Yet they live on
in the markers God created
genes, faces, voices
hair and eyes and size and even mannerisms reflecting
the silent ones
they could but see and laugh and touch and hold
but they can’t, and won’t
So we are left to ponder, reflect,
and walk amongst the long white lines
of Camp Butler
Memorial Day
Camp Butler