“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month….” Originally known as Armistice Day; now called Remembrance Day in most Allied nations and Veterans Day here in the US. A moment of silence; a day of parades, speeches, memories. This year, as we have in most of the last ten years, Mom, the Kidling and I went to Saratoga and the Gerald B. Solomon National Cemetery for the observances there. My dad is buried there, and several others I knew growing up. And, not far from my dad, is a young man I call “Union Blue”. His real name is lost in time. He died in the Battle of Antietam on September 17,1862 and was buried there in a rough, unmarked grave. They knew he was a New Yorker by his buttons. They knew he was young (17 to 19) by his bones. Someone’s son/brother/lover/friend. I wonder if his family ever knew where he died and was buried, or if all they knew was that he never came home?
He isn’t forgotten, tho. His is the most decorated grave there, always covered with flowers and flags and seasonal stuff. And the Kidling is drawn to the stone every time we go. Today, when we got home, she wrote the following. And I am so proud of her, even if it made me cry.
Unknown, Never forgotten.
Every time I’m there,
I always linger by him.
I don’t know why but,
I suppose it’s because his name is unknown.
He’s unknown but never forgotten.
Today I left a rose,
And quietly sang and hummed Amazing Grace.
Left him with the love that he once had felt,
And still will know that some people care.
Even though he is unknown,
We will never forget the sacrifice he made.
MR Evetts 11 November 2013