2004-05-19 20:23:18 (UTC)

Never Forget

Last month I made some art tags and posted scans of them on
my webshots page.

One was "Never Forget". It has a background of white roses
and these lines from "Dirge Without Music" by Edna St.
Vincent Millay.

More precious was the light in your eyes than all the
roses in the world.

Every year, for more than 30 years, I've had a bouquet of
white roses and white carnations placed on my first
husband's grave on Memorial Day. Those were the flowers we
had at our wedding and those were the flowers at his funeral.

He died in Vietnam in 1972, when his helicopter crashed.
He's buried in a Catholic cemetery in the small town in
Indiana where he grew up.

I've always used the same florist. The original owners have
retired and sold the business to their daughter and her
husband. Every year they've mailed me a photo showing the
flowers on his grave. I have a stack of those photographs
now, each carefully dated, that I keep in a manilla envelope.

Steven was an only child and both his parents died some
twenty years ago but his aunt and uncle tended his grave for
many years afterwards, and now that she's died and he is in
a nursing home, his cousin does it. I am very grateful to
them. On the weekend before Memorial Day the local Boy Scout
troop puts small American flags on each grave.

I ordered the flowers today. The owner assured me they
would be there on the Saturday before Memorial Day, as
always, and they would send me a photograph, as always.

And on Memorial Day I'll pray for Steven. A few days later
I'll receive a photograph of flowers and a flag next to his
headstone and I'll add that photo to those I have. And I'll

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon
The Fallen (1914)

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