|Santa Fe National Cemetery, the Sandias in the distance|
|Santa FE Cemetery|
And on this Memorial Day, originally Decoration Day, I'm more aware. I've visited six national cemeteries--Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Fort Smith, Arlington, Punchbowl in Hawaii, and Santa Fe. On my bucket list is Normandy, on D-Day. I hope next year. I've also visited Confederate cemeteries at Manassas and Vicksburg. As a Southerner, I'm in awe at all of them.
I'll admit a special fondness for Santa Fe, where we buried my late favorite uncle, Michael Henry Clark, almost four years ago. Wish I was there to put a flag on his grave.
|Unusual grave of a Spanish American war vet at Santa Fe.|
As I travel the backroads just around here, I've come across many graves of veterans, of black and white Americans who served their country in many wars, including scattered graves of Confederate veterans. These add to my sense of stories lost and untold.
So here are photos. Listen and you can imagine taps being played, caressing each grave. Next, the private cemeteries.
|ConfderateVeterans Rest, Vicksburg, where only 1,600 of 5000 graves are known|
|Union unknown at Gettysburg National Cemetery|
And here are the concluding lines of "Thanatopsis," by William Cullen Bryant, that I memorized in high school long ago. Seems fitting. Salute those flags today.
"So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."