Monday, May 31, 2010

one nation under God

It's Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of summer. Traffic is hideous, the three-day weekend is winding down, and cheerful flowers dot the cemeteries.

Hundreds of flags have been erected along the pathways through Goldendale's cemetery. Every one once draped a veteran's casket.
That's a lot of people who believed that we as a nation were worth dying for.


Though Memorial Day is mostly about remembering our veterans, I spent a considerable amount of time looking through the headstones of non-veterans as well, especially down in the original part of the cemetery. No flags marked those graves and only one or two had been decorated with flowers. The grass there has grown over some of the headstones. Sadly, many have been worn away, broken off, or vandalized.

Those headstones represent some of our area's original settlers. The oldest grave I found was that of a one-month-old infant, born and died in 1862. A surprisingly large portion commemorated children and teenagers. One or two told of Civil War veterans. Others had lived long, some past age 100. 

Cemeteries can be melancholy places. They represent painful loss. But aren't they inspiring too? (Yeah, I'm a history person . . . not to mention curious.) They beg us to ask who these people were. What were they like? How did they live?

And will we see them in Heaven someday?

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

1 comment:

  1. I love cemeteries too :) And lovely pictures.



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