I am going to spend this Memorial Day with my family. But while I’m enjoying my time with them, I’m also going to think about families who cannot be made whole—ones who have lost their beloveds in the line of duty. To all these military families who are out there, thank you for your own sacrifice for America.
The pain of losing loved ones is hard to bear. Not just for those who have lost a family member to war, but to all “extended family” as well. Famous American writer Walt Whitman, who served as nurse during the Civil War, truly felt like he was a part of this “extended family.” He suffered a huge emotional loss when so many of the young Civil War soldiers around him died. He was so traumatized by this experience he wrote “Leaves of Grass.” My college thesis was on this work by Whitman. I explored in depth his notion that the fallen would be reborn through leaves of grass.
This concept was something he needed to believe, to convince himself that these soldiers were not actually gone.
With honor and respect to all brave who have fallen, we remember you this Memorial Day.
Above photo of great American poet, Walt Whitman, in his fifties.
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