memorial day flag in a cemetery

A Poem For Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, I want to share a poem by Robert Frost that had me wiping my tears at my desk. Imagining myself as the woman in this poem was – phew – a lot to handle on a Tuesday afternoon.

Here’s the poem. Get your tissue ready.

Not to Keep by Robert Frost

They sent him back to her. The letter came
Saying… and she could have him. And before
She could be sure there was no hidden ill
Under the formal writing, he was in her sight—
Living.— They gave him back to her alive—
How else? They are not known to send the dead—
And not disfigured visibly. His face?—
His hands? She had to look—to ask,
“What was it, dear?” And she had given all
And still she had all—they had—they the lucky!
Wasn’t she glad now? Everything seemed won,
And all the rest for them permissible ease.
She had to ask, “What was it, dear?”
Yet not enough. A bullet through and through,
High in the breast. Nothing but what good care
And medicine and rest—and you a week,
Can cure me of to go again.” The same
Grim giving to do over for them both.
She dared no more than ask him with her eyes
How was it with him for a second trial.
And with his eyes he asked her not to ask.
They had given him back to her, but not to keep. 

american flag on side of barn

So many Americans have not got to keep their loved ones who served in the military.

Was it worth it?

I can’t answer that.

What I can do is take a moment today to reflect and say thank you to the men and women, and their families, who have sacrificed it all for their country. I can also participate in the democratic process from voting to jury duty to advocacy because, at the end of the day, that’s what these fallen service members were protecting – our democratic ideals.

Memorial Day is like two sides of a coin. It can be a bit heavy on one side and the other side it is the unofficial start of summer. I, for one, am very happy for summer to start!

Whatever you are doing today, I wish you all the best.

P.S. I will be taking the rest of the week off the blog while the kids have a short school break. I’ll be back next Monday with a fresh new blog post. In the meantime, you can stay up-to-date on what we are doing by following us via Instagram or Facebook. Feel free to also comment on this blog post or email us here if you have something to share!

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