Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day '09 -

Memorial Day: a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War 1 to include American casualties of any war or military action. (definition paraphrased from Wikipedia)

From the Memorial Day Order written on the 30th of May, 1868, section 1, paragraph 2: "....We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic. " - General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day)

Today was Memorial Day. I spent it outside mowing the lawn jointly with Daddy, edging, weeding, trimming...for hours. The sweat poured down and soaked my shirt, gloves and socks. My camo cowboy hat clung to my wet head, the gentle breeze blew the grass clippings into swirls around the mower, people returned my waves with a nod or two as they passed in their trucks and golf carts, and I felt blisters forming on my heels. I went on and on, tiring out, but not stopping until I was done. Every round around and around, my heartbeat pounded loudly against my earplugs and my breathing grew deeper, and I cherished it all.

Because the people who gave their lives for my freedom, for the freedom of America's families, they would have cherished a hot summer day to just live life one more day. The simple joys like mowing a lawn, wiping sweat off their foreheads from a job well done, lifting their faces to that breeze and grinning as they chowed into that sweet summer watermelon, all the way down to the green rind and juice dripping off their chins. Just one more day with their families.

I thanked God for them and their sacrifice for me today as I cherished life. I prayed for their families, and asked God to bring many from their families into His fold of children, as they walk through their pain, or even as they just remember them with fond memories and smiles. That they turn to the One who gave us all, by Himself - all. All for love of us.

Boy, I thought a lot about the blog today! I thought of all the things I could write about, and talk about, and now - I think a little writing is good. And a lot of thanking and reverence is in order. I spent my moment of silence at 3pm, as it is tradition to do, and thought how little respect or thought I give to my country!

Now, I am very patriotic, and the very sight of our flag in the breeze may or may not cause me to swerve while driving, the sound of our anthem brings me to tears, and I desperately want to visit every single soldier cemetery I see when we are on trips. I love history, and I love our country ... but I don't give very much back to her do I? It's something to really ponder ... and thank God for our freedoms! Compared to really any other country in the world, this country ... has been blessed with many freedoms in Him. Wow.

I hope your day included a thought and prayer of thanks to God for the men and women who have given their greatest they had: their lives, to preserve our nation. I have 4 sets of flag pictures that I wanted to share with you ... Old Glory in all her beauty and pride. I hope you enjoy looking through them as much as I did taking them! :)

Let us take pride in our country, our nation, our United States! For many among us gave for her.


Taken today- A neighbor's flag, snapping and waving and calling attention to herself, as if she was ready to fly away, independent and free.




Taken a couple weeks ago - the sun shone so brilliantly through her colors, red for valor, white for purity, innocence and hope, and blue for perseverance, vigilance and justice. So proudly she waves!
Dogwood flower petals gracing the ground in MO, taken in April.

Again, from the Memorial Day Order of 1868, section 3:
"III. If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation's gratitude—the soldiers and sailors widow and orphan." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day)
Amen! What wonderful words of valor and reverence! I love this!
Taken in April in MO. Pointing up towards the sky, twirling, fluttering, dancing in the wind. Reveling in the sun shining down, lighting up the world, its tender warmth upon her stripes.

Taken today - another neighbor's flag...pulling at her pole, drawing gazes from everyone who passes, whispering -

"Look what I stand for! I stand for America's freedom! I wave and snap for her fallen heroes! I march with them into battle! I fall in long lengths at half mast in sorrow and tight triangles in honor! I am the symbol of what every soldier looks to for courage and renewed bravery to press on, to fight till the very end! I am wept over, rejoiced over, touched in awe and bear every scar and wound that America has endured! I have seen what you have not: I have heard the bullets and the rounds of mortars, I have felt enemy hands upon me, I have been ripped and torn, worn ragged and rained upon, I have fallen with my men, and lain next to my dying sons, I have been given to new recruits because the "old" regiment is "gone", I have heard their whispered fears before the fight, and their broken words in weeping when the battle is over.

I have been clasped between hands in prayer, I have seen, I have been staid,
I am America's pride."

I was discouraged at dinner tonight, and now I am uplifted. I love this post. It touches my heart and wrings a tear, a thought, a thankful prayer to our King. It resounds in a clap of pride in my heart, a patriotic salute, a loving hand over my heart ... America's anthem singing in my head.

I want to share one more thing. I wrote this free-style poem last year for Memorial Day. It has been dear to my heart ever since. I hope you slow down and just enjoy reading it. Please do not copy or send this to anyone else unless first receiving my permission. Thank you.

I love you all, dear fellow Americans. Let us take pride, and remember to thank our countrymen, both fallen and alive, and our dear God for allowing us these precious freedoms, this long.

With a smile upon my lips,
and thankfulness to God in my heart,
~ Jean Marie


The Sound of Bing - by Jean Marie Fambrough Memorial Day, 2008
in remembrance of all the men that didn’t ever come home.

She opens the doors,
and lifts the lid,
she dusts off the needle,
and blows on the dials,
she pulls out a much-loved
yellowing paper cover,
and smiles softly as it
empties soundlessly.

Placing it in,
she readies all,
then turning it on,
scratches fill the air.

She goes to the closet,
and pulls out his coat
and puts it on,
the smell of mint
enveloping her like his love,
and picking up his picture
places it on her lap
as she sits down in her rocker.

She kicks off her shoes,
and starts the rocker,
the light shimmering off
her wedding ring as she
pulls her mahogany-red hair
over her shoulders,
the wavy ends brushing her neck.

As the first strains of sound
fill the silence, she sighs
and turns her head to smell his coat,
her fingers begin to brush his face
in the frame,
and a peaceful smile crosses her face.

The voice of Bing Crosby fills the air,
commanding a silence as the song
swirls the memories and voices
through the air, and tears fill her eyes,
thinking about the telegram.

She can feel his arms,
lovingly crushing her to him,
praying in her ear as he said goodbye,
the feel of his love like an ocean,
of never wanting him to let go,
to pretend there was no war,
nor that he was a captain.

Wiping away the tears,
she begins to smile again and
hums along to the music…and
as the song begins to slow,
she falls asleep,
a smile on her face,
a thankful prayer on her lips
knowing the war was over,
and that he’d soon be coming home
to her, once again.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words, beautiful heart. Thank you!

Jean Marie said...

Thank you for leaving a comment, and for reading it! I appreciate it!
God bless,
~ Jean Marie

Sharon Smily Zachary said...

I love the pictures of flags, Jean Marie! Very nice!!

Joel said...

Very nicely written, Great feeling and warmth.


Joel Gaffney