In honor of Memorial Day, a lovely meditation on heroism:
by Mary West Jorgensen
“Our history is studded with heroic names. These names compose a world roster from which almost every nation may choose one and say: He is ours! We produced the clan from which he sprung. See how he spells his name! That is how his family spelled their name years ago, here, in this land.
“The tale of heroism runs true from Valley Forge to Gettysburg, from the Argonne to Guadalcanal. How is it possible to select one and say of him: He is the bravest of all?
“Therefore, I choose one who lies in Arlington beneath the inscription: “Here rests in honored glory, an American soldier, known but to God.”
“Of him we know three things: he was an American, he died for freedom, he sleeps in the comfortable keeping of the Lord of Hosts.”
“He is a symbol of heroic qualities, of the vision of Washington, of the humanity of Lincoln, of the courage of MacArthur, of the faith of Rickenbacker, of the sacrifice of Kelly. He is, moreover, a symbol of the common man who dies daily in order that freedom many not perish from the earth.”
The Sentinels Creed followed by all those soldiers who guard their unknown fallen comrade:
“My dedication to this sacred duty is total and wholehearted. In the responsibility bestowed on me never will I falter. And with dignity and perseverance my standard will remain perfection. Through the years of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements, I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability. It is he who commands the respect I protect. His bravery that made us so proud. Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day, alone in the thoughtful peace of night, this soldier will in honored glory rest under my eternal vigilance.”
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded very minute of every hour of every day. Blessings upon those who keep this silent hero safe and all those who protect us as well. God Bless America.