Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

"I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, 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." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VIII, "Letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby" (November 21, 1864), pp. 116-117. President Abraham Lincoln, in a letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby mother of five who died in the civil war.

This note always brings me to tears. The sacrifice upon the alter of freedeom is an image so moving, I thought it appropriate for Veterans Day, because it is this offering to democracy that all US service people volunteer their lives.

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." Winston Churchill


Blogger mommanator said...

Thank you for this honoring tribute! Lest we never forget all the lives that have been torn apart by war so that we may have freedoms! There is always a cost to freedom isn't there!

10:01 AM  
Blogger CS said...

I debated about whether to comment since I am such a pacifist. I'll just say I grieve for all who lose someone to war, on whatever side.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Mommantor - I'm glad you liked it, its a quote that always moves me, I wish I could have met Mr. Lincoln, just to hear him speak would have been amazing, no?

CS - interesting point, I myself don't like war, but at the same time can I honestly say I would grieve equally for someone who fought for wrong ideals, like killing minority populations, probably not...but I appreciate your point of view.

1:48 AM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

hey VA Gal: you don't have to like war to be appreciative of the sacrifice and the willingness to sacrifice of our service people. i should hope that those of us who benefit from that altar of freedom are respectful enough of that sacrifice to choose our battles wisely. that's my veteran's day prayer!

11:06 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home