Monday, May 27, 2013

Last Posting for Memorial Day, 2013.
  (Explanation:) During the time Mrs. Morrow wrote, it was considered inappropriate to "splash"  
   names around in the press/public.  So, with my grandfather and my father's permission she duly
   noted them in the column as "The Husband" for Joe Fagan Morrow and "The Boy" for Joe
   Ellingwood Morrow.  By the 1950's, is was considered acceptable to use proper/given
   names and so in later columns my brother and I are actually named.  )

Can you imagine in these days of "no man left behind" having the following discussion with your son or daughter as they left for the war front?    Read on. . . .

"While The Boy was still overseas in the thick of the Battle for Europe, The Husband and I agreed that, should he fall, we would not ask for the return of his body; he, himself, had requested that he not be moved if he fell, and since he is home, he still says he would let the war dead lie where they are.

Many, many, however, have requested that their dead be brought home while others are still in doubt.  For these families an article appears in the May (1947) Readers Digest, “Let Them Rest In Peace.”

The writer and his wife, who had lost a son, went to Holland to see the cemetery where he lay,and after seeing the “thousands of small white crosses in perfect symmetry upon the hilltop, with the Stars-of-David blooming among them ” they decided to leave him” Rest in Peace.”

“Row upon row, our sons lie as they marched, side-by-side.  They sleep in death as they had slept in camp.”

The two parents went at all times of the day and in all kinds of weather to make doubly sure they wanted to leave their son buried where he fell,  and came to the following conclusion:

“if I could speak to homes, those stricken as mine, I would like to say two things: First, the cemeteries in Europe are beautiful and as nearly perfect as we could wish.  Second, the people in the midst of whom our sons lie buried are kindly, thoughtful, appreciative, and conscious that it is an honor to pay tribute to the young warrior dead.  Nothing will restore what once has been.  Those many thousands look so quiet—let them rest in that quietness.”

Some have made memorial parks such as the one in Tulsa at Boulder on the Park, where crosses have been erected as a shrines to their dead and that, too, is a beautiful and fitting, and comfortable place where one may go with bowed  head to sit awhile with thoughts of a loved one, for the one is as near in spirit there as they are in France or Holland or New Guinea. “

On this Memorial Day, 66 years later, may they rest in peace.  Happy Memorial Day!  Go celebrate the freedoms these young warriors have provided for us. 

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