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.”