Silence on this Day

Mother, son, mourning father, grave site

I found today’s editorial message in the NY Times to poignantly yet beautifully capture the spirit of today.

“If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the silence at the heart of Memorial Day — the inward turn that thoughts take on a day set aside to honor the men and women who have died in the service of this country.

It is the silence of soldiers who have not yet been, and may never be, able to talk about what they learned in war, the silence of grief so familiar that it feels like a second heartbeat. This is a day for acknowledging, publicly, the private memorial days that lie scattered throughout the year, a day when all the military graves are tended to, even the ones that someone tends to regularly as a way of remembering.

It always seems strange the way the fond, sober gestures of memory coincide with the last flush of spring, while the trees are still lit from within by their chartreuse leaves. The year is still rising, just. And yet it is something you often see recorded in the books and diaries of men and women at war — the sharp interruption of beauty, the moments, hours even, when the vivid tenacity of life itself feels most tangible, even in the midst of death. On a bright, beautiful Memorial Day, you feel, as clearly as you may ever feel, the profound separation between the living and the dead. This is the strangeness of the day, because that separation is a source of both joy and loss.

A nation at war — trying to end its war — needs to remember that despite the simple stories we tell ourselves about why we go to war, every soldier who has seen combat knows there is no simple story. The dead have taken that awareness with them, but the living carry it, usually silently, within them. That, too, is the strangeness of this day — to honor men and women who know things about living, dying, and the character of war that we can never really imagine. It should arouse a humility in all the rest of us, and in humility there is a silence, too.”

~ New York Times

Source: NY Times – Silence on this Day.  Image: US News on NBC News.  Photo is of Brittany Jacobs of Hereford, N.C., who hugs her 17-month old son Christian at her husband, Marine SGT Christopher Jacobs’ gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day at in Arlington, Va.


  1. Yes, silence.


  2. That photo says it all.


  3. Barneysday says:

    Beautiful, thanks for sharing. War is never the answer. So many lives lost, so many lives that would have been, never will. Sad.


  4. The photo hurts deeply for the grieving… It is worth more than a million words


  5. Reblogged this on Wholeheartedness and commented:
    Thank you to all the veterans in my life!


  6. Reblogged this on JUSTICE FOR RAYMOND.


  7. Silently we pray for their lost.



  8. Oh, how this makes my heart ache…


  9. Powerful words, powerful image …


  10. Very good.


  11. Lkanigan says:

    Great piece & picture. Can’t even imagine all that served what they have gone through. Bless them and their families.


  12. Very true “It should arouse a humility in all the rest of us, and in humility there is a silence, too.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: