Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor, May 31 – Courier

May 31st, 2018 by admin Leave a reply »

The Monument

visa nostrus brevis est*

Where do our dead go when they have gone to sleep?

What brings them back in memory year after blessed year?

Under the sun and under the moonlight their patriotic deeds

have granted them some special rest. We honor the ransom they paid.


Why do we honor the dead? What brings us to them now

to grieve their bones and celebrate their valorous deeds?

What sacred places have we reserved for them in sentiment,

that gives us cause to make their graves a monument?


What would we learn from these men who have gone before us,

marching no longer in war, nor luxuriating in the peace they won?

Their eyes looking now into bluer air than ours,

their deeds of patriotic ilk have caused them to bloom like flowers


on our landscape. They went to battle for our freedoms, from

the bottom of the Common on to the Charles, to horse or on foot

they went for Freedom brave and steadfast to the Ground where liberty

was in chains, where independence was to be won.


They went abroad, where hard-won liberty was again at risk

these young boys and old men, taking up our cause. The Great War

and wars beyond. No one wanted to fight, but fight they would

to keep our liberties. Now we stand at their monument,


tongues inadequate to find the better words to say for them.

Woe to our poor dictionary whose lexicon fails us. This we know:

Even as we struggle without words, we place our hands to stone

and gravely tend those whose deeds live well beyond their mortal end.


Visa nostrus brevis

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