Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department.... that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
Abraham Lincoln

For my friends Melissa and Angela, whose husbands are serving in Iraq right now, and all the families, friends and relatives who now and in the past have given so much when asked by their country and its leaders....a rememberance and thank you on this Memorial Day, 2007.


Blogger CS said...

I am a pacifist, and my heart aches for all who are touched by war - both those who fight and those who lose loved ones to the fight. But as a mother I would take no comofrt in Lincoln's letter. "Died gloriously"? No, just died. So very, very sad.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Darla D said...

I was thinking the same thing about the "died gloriously" part, but I found it was a kind and thoughtful letter. Thanks for this post, VA Gal. It is unsettling to think how as much as we think we are progressing, we are in many ways just treading water.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

CS - it seems to me back in the day (Lincoln's day) phrases like "died gloriously" were commonplace and perhaps did not have the same meaning or impact we confer on it today?? I like Lincoln's writings, his word choices and way of phrasing things is very strong. Memorial day makes me sad and I think you said it "my heart aches for those who fight and their families."

Darla - yes, isn't it interesting that history truly has a way of repeating itself (though I do think the war in Lincoln's day was for a right reason vs. the trumped up excuses used for the Iraq invansion).

11:20 AM  

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