Memorial Day 2013

Memorial Day

By Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw


They shall not grow old,

As we that are left, grow old:

Age shall not weary them,

Nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun,

And in the morning,

We shall remember them.

~ Robert Laurence Binyon


Since the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, April 19, 1775, to the present occupation in Afghanistan, more than a million and a half men and women have died in combat.  That number does not include the nearly 40,000 servicemen and women missing in action.  Over a million and a half sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends… who defended more than just an ideal.

Today is not about our own personal beliefs on war or politics, or whether we are a “hawk” or “dove”, whether we believe that we should have entered into conflict with Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan… or not.  Today is not a day to debate the ‘rightness’ of war, American politics, or America’s presence around the globe… superpower or ‘bully’.  There are enough other days on the calendar for such debates.

Today we honor our dead.  Today is about the men and women who did what they were called to do… who had the courage to sacrifice all… and who paid the ultimate price.

Today is a day to remember and honor those brave souls.  It is a day to set aside our own differences, and memorialize the honor, duty, and sacrifice of these men and women.

I find a sad irony in the word “freedom”.  Freedom means “to be free”, yet freedom is not “free”.  A price is always paid, often; a horrible price.  The cost of freedom for all is the sacrifice of life for many.  That is a terrible, crushing truth.  I am unbearably saddened by the knowledge that this truth is something that we, mankind, must be constantly reminded of, because – another terrible truth – there will always be evil in the world.

Wherever there is evil in men’s hearts, tyranny will breed.  Wherever there is tyranny, there will be cries for freedom.  And wherever there are cries for freedom, selfless men and women will rise up and answer those cries.  Many will make the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, so that you and I and others may live and be free.  Free to live our lives as we  want; free to be whoever or whatever we want to be; free to breathe and speak our own minds; free to laugh… to love… to live!  And… free to rise up with others and fight oppression and tyranny wherever it exists in the world… because until all are free, none are truly free.

As we commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that you and I may live our lives as free men and women, I sincerely hope we will all spend a few moments in silence and remember the sacrifices of so many this Memorial Day, and maybe say a little prayer of thanks, if you are so inclined.  Those who sacrificed so that I am free to be the person who I am will always be in my prayers.  I also pray for the day when man will no longer take up arms against man.


“The rest of those who have gone before us…cannot steady the unrest of those who follow.” ~ Unknown


© 2013 – Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw.  All Rights Reserved.

May be reprinted with permission of the author.


About VeronicaThePajamaThief

Bio: Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Born in Lisboa, Portugal to parents of Portuguese/Russian descent, Veronica Marie and her wife, Christina Anne, call the Pacific Northwest home, where the couple are “still very much on honeymoon!” When not teaching and finishing her own studies for a Masters in Sociology, Veronica writes fiction, primarily noir - "I love dark!". Her long fascination with noir fiction prompted Veronica to try her own hand at writing fiction several years ago. She has been published in Pulp Metal Magazine, The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology, the horror anthology 100 Horrors, from Cruentus Libri Press, Nightfalls: an End of the World anthology, Drunk On The Moon 2: A Roman Dalton anthology and Gloves Off: Near To the Knuckle's debut anthology. Veronica has also appeared in the inaugural issue of Literary Orphans magazine and her horror/urban fantasy short story SOUL TAKER was recently chosen for inclusion in Lily Childs' february femmes fatales, an urban fantasy/horror anthology. Veronica counts among her mentors - Carole A Parker, Lily Childs, Paul D Brazill, Richard Godwin, Joyce Juzwik and Vicki Abelson. She is currently working on the third draft of her first novel – a memoir – as well the second draft of her first fiction novel, a fantasy novel and the publication of a collection of her flash fiction and short stories. Lily's The Feardom and Vicki Abelson's Women Who Write Facebook writing group have both been a tremendous source of support and inspiration for Veronica. Veronica’s writings can be found at and, and
This entry was posted in Life Is A Journey, Non-Fiction, Out Of The Clutter Of A Writer's Mind and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to MEMORIAL DAY

  1. Cayman Thorn says:

    I know I’m late on this post, but I must tell you, it is the BEST Memorial Day read of my 2013. Thank you for writing this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s