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Sunday, May 27, 2012

The lonesome soldier

Every year about this time Fran and I go to the cemeteries where Fran’s Mom and my Dad are buried, bringing flowers for the graves. We clean off the stones then spend a short time just standing there in our memories.
Dad is buried in a cemetery that has a certain section for military men and their families to be buried. Every time we went there would be artificial flowers and an American flag on Dad’s grave so our fresh ones would go to waste. A few years ago I was reading some of the stones near Dad’s grave and there was one for John Cesar. He was born in 1968 and died in 1988, twenty years old. The stone was filthy. It was obvious no-one came to visit him. Fran had the idea of putting our flowers there to honor this young man. I cleaned the stone with the brush I bring along then placed the fresh flowers in the metal cup attached to his stone, adding water to the cup.
He now has for years had someone coming to take care of his stone and honor his life. We will never know how John died, but he is remembered. Dad would have liked that.

Ken Dillenburg