Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Of graves...and gratitude

(by R.P.Edwards)

The simple stone
Placed at the head
Beneath the sod
A warrior…dead
And though our grief
On focused…one
Let’s rise and see
The greater sum
Thousands, thousands!
Line on line
Silent sentries
Nation’s time
Speaking, speaking!
Past and now
The sacred words
The solemn vow
Marching, moving
All in place
A chorus rings
Of works…and grace
And pleads remembrance
To the task
To teach the young
When children ask
To tell of worth
Beyond the “me”
The gift to all
The “all”…of free
And then return
To loved one’s bed
And touch the stone
Placed at…the head

And so many, perhaps thousands, of graves in Arlington National Cemetery…may be mislabeled.  I must admit, I found the news a bit disturbing, but not devastating (perhaps I’d feel differently if a close loved one were interred there.) For, when it comes to government oversight--be it taxes or tombs--I expect a certain degree of incompetence.  However, the good senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskill, is not quite so forgiving.  She’s launched an investigation to get to the bottom of this.  I hope she does.

Now, stepping back a moment, I see a symbolic thing going on here; a kind of …we’ve lost our way, our bearings, kind of thing.  And, a simple looking to where we were, and where we “are”; just seems to heighten the disparity .  However, perhaps with all the “digging” we’ll begin to remember the old fashioned America that has, of late, been misplaced.  Perhaps with all the backtracking we’ll discover that the “current track” does not find its roots in the former station.  And, perhaps with a fine-toothed figuring of “who they were”… we’ll also discover who…we are not.  And, having discovered this, perhaps we’ll ask past generations for their compass.  I'm sure they’d be glad to share it.  Indeed, they could not have envisioned…that it would ever be…lost.

It might be a good time to view, again, the video titled, The Stone.


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