My final thoughts on Memorial Day, and then I shall cease.
My friend Kate Thornton, a long-time member of the armed forces herself, gave a moving tribute to those who stood with her – and fell for us:
“Sleep well now, my brothers
You’ve borne your burdens well
Walk peacefully through heaven’s streets
You’ve done your time in hell.”
My friend Kate can ALWAYS be counted on to improve almost anything – or find someone else who did. She’s just THAT GOOD. This time, I think she either wrote or found a very moving – and visceral – twist on James Casey’s poem “Rest My Brothers”:
“Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell…”
Kate also made a very trenchant observation – I don’t know whether it’s hers or another’s – but it was she who brought it forth for consideration, at least to me:
“War is a public declaration of the failure of reason.”
Finally, for me, the greatest observation about war I’ve ever read – because simplicity can be devastating:
“War does not determine who is right — only who is left.”