Memorial Day – H/T to The Whited Sepulchre
Yes, these brave men and women who put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of kith and kin, for the sake of clan and country, and for the sake of freedom and security for all those who sheltered behind them, needed no motivational posters, no rousing speeches, no brash fanfares. They sacrificed themselves on the altar of blood because duty demanded it; all the pomp and splendor was but trapping for those left behind.
Review, friends – troops long past review,
All to fate a weight of pains and dollars.
Their spirit’s wear our silver collars.
Review, friends – troops long past review:
Each a dot of time without pretense or guile.
With them passes the lure of fortune.
Review, friends – troops long past review.
When our time ends on its rictus smile,
We’ll pass the lure of fortune.
— Gurney Halleck
Frank Herbert’s Dune
These fallen soldiers are long past review, their arms and accouterments moldering in the earth, yet there they stand in perfect formation. Massed in their ranks, battalion after battalion, in neat rows set out in now peaceful fields, they fulfill their final duty.
So do not review them, these men and women who earned a warrior’s peace. Present yourself to them instead for review. The fallen do not need our thanksgiving or our praise, but we, for the sake of our souls, need to thank and praise them – and to remember.