Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Monday, May 31, 2010

Honor Due

No experience or sight has ever moved me like that of Arlington National Cemetery. Its situation is so beautiful, so peaceful, serene. Such a paradox considering what it represents. What speaks to me, what touches so very deeply are the numbers. Obviously the number of white crosses in endless rows, each representing a life. But not a single life only, and this is what overwhelms, each cross, each life speaks to so many others whose dreams were shattered and lives unalterably changed forever. Loss unspeakable, grief unbearable.

So this day, while words seem but a shabby offering of deeper feeling, there is heart-gratitude for those who have defended our country, their country through the generations, in war and in peacetime. There is the greatest respect also for those who have lived, who do live with the loss of one loved who fell in or because of battle.

There is the deepest honor felt for those who even now offer their lives for me, for others in wars not of their making.

Giver of strength, O bless and aid
Thy servants 'gainst the foe arrayed;
Go forth with them to fight!
In battle's storm their shelter be;
Thy Spirit grant, of unity
O counsel and of might.
Watch o'er the wounded in the field,
And, where the sick and dying yield
Their souls, do Thou be nigh!
Give peace within the heart distressed,
And peace on earth, and last and best,
Thy peace beyond the sky. Amen
`Elizabeth Wordsworth, 1885, Hymns A & M


  1. I too, was overwhelming moved by this place. It truly is hallowed ground.