Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Of Remembrance and Gratitude

When I was a Boy Scout, it fell to my troop during the last week of May each year to visit the local cemeteries and decorate the graves of Veterans with flags, each flag placed a boot length to the right of the headstone. Thus we honored those in our community that had served their country during the Spanish American War, two World Wars, and Korea.  It was a small act, but an important one.

One of the stones where I placed a flag bore the legend F/O in front of the name. The F/O stood for "Far Off".  The body was not there but interred on some Pacific Island or buried at sea; but the memorial was part of the family plot. In my mind, it was especially important to place the flag by that one marker, to say "Even though you are not here, you are not forgotten.  Your memory is honored."

This week, similar similar small acts are being carried out at Arlington and other military and civilian cemeteries across the land as soldiers, boy scouts and other service organizations take the time to mark and thereby honor the memories of those who served.

And to say "Thank you."

"Thank you for your Service.  Thank you for the freedom in which we live. Thank you for this nation that you helped preserve."

"You are not forgotten."

"Thank you."