At the end of April I had the honor of bearing and raising the colors in a joint march and memorial here in Western Australia for ANZAC day. The holiday was first started to commemorate the loss of more than 60,000 men of the Australian and New Zealander Army Corps during the First World War, later representing a commemorative service for all war dead in the subsequent years with a nationwide dawn service. As the suns sets here in Australia, it’s just starting to ink the horizon of the East coast of the United States with brighter shades and will begin our Memorial Day, like ANZAC day, remembering those who gave their lives that others might live and do so in freedom.

For those of us that have served, the concept of degrees of separation is far less than six to be remembering a missing brother or sister in arms today, even family. For we Americans, regardless of their degrees of separation, today is a day of reflection, of doing the things that our loved ones loved to do, remembering the good times gone by, helping families cope and visiting the lost. Flowers are laid, prayers are said, tears and laughter alike to be had.

Those of us abroad who can’t be home to visit with loved ones or visit the resting place of our family carry our own tributes. It might be a bracelet, a small token, pictures, but it helps. I picked up our flag in April in my own remembrance of not just of our fallen allies, but of our own joint fallen in these last decades of combat, to include the closest thing I have to a little brother. I spent today kayaking and making a haphazard attempt to fish which I know John would have been in tears laughing to watch, because boating and fishing were two things we enjoyed doing as children; things he obviously got far, far better at than me as an adult. In a few hours, instead of raising a flag, I’ll put a beer on the table next to John’s picture since that was the last brew we had together a few years back while I was TDY in Colorado, where he was stationed. After, I’ll sit back and watch Predator, one of our favorite movies growing up and I’ll probably follow that up with Aliens. I’ll call my folks and John’s folks once they get up and we’ll talk about old times and what’s going on now, I’ll send John’s wife and munchkins my love. Coincidentally, today is also my birthday and the irrationality of it all is that if I had a birthday wish it’s for the one thing I really can’t have, outside of old pictures like when we went to Medieval Times as kids for my birthday. I was born four years before John and am thankful for every moment we had, but I’ll be damned if I don’t wish I woke up in my bed in Guam the morning I got the news and it was all just a horrid dream.

Across the globe folks are doing similar things remembering the thousands of other losses in a service to sustaining our way of life. If you have half a chance, I’d ask you attend a memorial today, be a part of that national tribute to those that went before us. It doesn’t particularly matter if you don’t know someone who’s been taken in service of our Nation, you’re a tribute to their passage because you are walking, talking example of what that sacrifice was meant to preserve: you are an American.

Love you and miss you brother.

~ Ebola

7 Responses to “Remember”

  1. nightfly says:

    With gratitude and a heavy heart for all who have made the supreme sacrifice… eternal light grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them.

  2. Kathy Kinsley says:

    She said it well.
    Moina Michael
    Oh! You who sleep in Flanders’ Fields
    Sleep sweet – to rise anew;
    We caught the torch you threw,
    And holding high we kept
    The faith with those who died.
    We cherish, too, the Poppy red
    That grows on fields where valor led.
    It seems to signal to the skies
    That blood of heroes never dies.
    But lends a lustre to the red
    On the flower that blooms above the dead
    In Flanders’ fields.
    And now the torch and Poppy red
    Wear in honour of our dead.
    Fear not that ye have died for naught:
    We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
    In Flanders’ fields.

  3. Kathy Kinsley says:

    I remember. My mother lost multipe uncles to WW1, And both her brothers (and my father) were in WWII – luckily, they did survive – but I couldn’t get my father to talk about it. (I tried.)

  4. tree hugging sister says:


  5. Kathy Kinsley says:

    And I still want to punch out people who say “HAPPY Memorial Day”.

    I don’t – but I WANT to.

  6. tree hugging sister says:

    Oh, I LIT someone up on Twitter about that, after they chastised me for politely – POLITELY, mind you – correcting Greg Abbott.

  7. Kathy Kinsley says:

    GOOD! I wish I could be as eloquent on the subject.

    I usually just say: “would you wish someone a happy funeral?”

Image | WordPress Themes