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Wisdom of a Child

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I wrote this on Memorial Day weekend a couple of years ago. It seemed appropriate to post again today.

This morning I packed Josiah, Jakob and Jeremiah into the back of my car to take them to Karli's. The clouds had departed leaving Portland with amazingly blue skies. I pulled the silver Mercedes out of the driveway, opened the sunroof and cranked up the tunes. I watched in my rear view mirror as Jeremiah was nodding his freshly shaven head. I could see Jakob's wooly noggin moving back and forth to the beat and Josiah was rhythmically shaking his fat little feet.
They were swaying, singing and carefree as we began to approach the top of Mt. Scott. It's a beautiful mountain with perfectly manicured cemeteries on both sides. On the south side are the rolling hills of Lincoln Park where our tiny Isaiah lies safely in the baby garden. To the north is Willamette National Cemetery. It's surrounded by stately high iron fences with beautiful stone columns that break up the iron boundary.

As soon as the National Cemetery was in view a hush fell over the car. Each boy sat wide eyed taking in the beautiful site. Even Little Josiah was taken by what he saw. Boy scouts, sometime in the wee hours of the morning, had placed flags on each one of the thousands of gravesites. The view was breathtaking. There was a sea of American flags gently waving in the calm morning breeze. The small flags were punctuated by larger, more impressive flags lining both sides of the roads that meandered throughout the cemetery.

There were people of all ages and walks of life bringing flowers to their loved ones. They walked slowly and solemnly through the flowing flags in search of the right site on which to place the red, white and blue bouquets they so carefully carried.

It reminded me of when my father and I went on our Southern America road trip a few years back. We drove through battlefields of the Civil War, we saw monuments and memorials. We ended up in a cemetery in North Carolina. The gravesites there were decorated by hundreds of small Union and Confederate flags marking the graves of our fallen soldiers. It hit me how in life they fought to the death for the principles each side of a fractured America believed in and how now, they lie peacefully side by side in a small cemetery in North Carolina. What had separated them in life had brought them together in death. It was a time that has been seared into my soul. I looked back at Willamette National Cemetery and thought of the men and women that were lying there. They, too, had fought long and hard for what we now take too much for granted.

As I was lost in my own thoughts about the day I heard Jakob's small, quivering voice. He was trying to tell us through his tears how special it was that we remember the ones that fought for our freedoms and the freedoms of those throughout our world. He said how sad the people in the cemetery must be going to see their sons, fathers, grandfathers and brothers but that their pride must be much stronger than their sadness to have heroes in their families.

What a statement for a little skinny, eight year old boy. Adults don't even get it much of the time. We're going to lie together in death; we should make more of an effort to stand together in life.


Unknown May 30, 2010 at 4:31 PM  

Just wanted to let you know I gave you an award on my blog, hope you enjoy it =) Happy Memorial Day!

Monkey Man May 30, 2010 at 4:37 PM  

Some posts are worth putting back up and this is one. Thanks.

Bring Pretty Back May 30, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

This post was certainly worth reposting!
I'm so glad you like the idea of my series! I agree!! Let's jump right in!
Have a pretty night!

JoJo May 30, 2010 at 5:51 PM  

Wow what a smart little boy you have!

HeartsMakeFamilies May 30, 2010 at 6:09 PM  

Stopping by from Friday Blog Hop. I am now following. Hope you will stop by my blog and follow when you get a chance :) Have a great weekend!


Anonymous,  May 30, 2010 at 9:44 PM  

perfectly stated and he surely got it right.

Ms. Understood May 30, 2010 at 10:05 PM  

Happy Memorial Day. That is so beautiful that you and your dad did a trip like that. The father/daughter relationship is so important. The honesty that comes from a child's perspective can never be matched by any well put together thought.

cwitgo May 31, 2010 at 7:37 AM  

It just shows us that no matter how small or big, young or old, or any combination of colors, in order to be proud Americans, we have to remember those who made it possible for us to be Americans are remembered.

Savira Gupta May 31, 2010 at 8:19 AM  

Honesty from a child's heart rings true to one's ears....

Floundering May 31, 2010 at 9:53 AM  

Just stopping by from the Lady Blogger's Society. I have 9 kids (his mine and ours) and 3 grand kids and I particularly appreciate the blogs on the highs and lows of THAT life lol, but this post is very meaningful. Great Blog!

Bloviating Zeppelin May 31, 2010 at 12:33 PM  

Your son "got it" whilst so many other defeatists and apologists do not.

It is the American Soldier who is responsible for whatever civilization might still be extant on the entire planet.


Lua May 31, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

This is a glorious post, I'm glad you put it back up. It's amazing how children can feel things so purely. Your little one is a smart cookie. It's true though, the pride must be greater than the sadness...those people died for US. Thanks....found you from the Lady Blogger's BBQ <3

The Halton Mom May 31, 2010 at 3:36 PM  

Happy Memorial Day and Monday Madness! Following you now, look forward to seeing you at my blog.

The Bama Gardener May 31, 2010 at 8:15 PM  

What a precious little boy!

Thank you so much for your email! We are from Alabama so I am not sure if it would work out, but I am so thankful for so many friends' support!

Allyson & Jere May 31, 2010 at 9:27 PM  

What a beautiful, beautiful post! I'm so glad you reposted this, it was WELL worth the read. And, as a side note, it makes me TOTALLY want to come to Oregan and see this beautiful place.

♥Yaya's Mommy ♥ May 31, 2010 at 10:12 PM  

Thank you for stopping by and for linking up again this week. Have a great Tuesday. I am following you too.

Pop Pop May 31, 2010 at 10:53 PM  

Honesty without prejudice! Ah-to be a kid again, seeing things through eyes unclouded or jaded by the world in which we live. That is the reason so many have given their lives in defense of Freedom-so that the children have a chance at a better life. Thanks for the re-awakening of my soul!

stash mama May 31, 2010 at 10:58 PM  

I am your newest follower! I would Love a follow back!
Thanks :) love your header!

Jill May 31, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

I'm following you now from Tuesday Tag Along. You have an interesting blog and a lovely style of writing! :)

Unknown May 31, 2010 at 11:10 PM  

Now following!

Please follow me back

Happy Tuesday!!

A 2 Z May 31, 2010 at 11:44 PM  

Little boys are very sensitive. As an elementary school teacher we dont tend to think that they are but I find they are often more sensitive than girls at that age. Great post. Thanks for sharing. I'm a new follower


Elise May 31, 2010 at 11:51 PM  

New follower from follow me back Tuesday. Hope you can check out my blog if you haven't already and feel free to enter my 2 dream book giveaways(any pre-order/wish list book of your choice).

Simply Stacie June 1, 2010 at 3:26 AM  

Thanks for joining Mailbox Monday! I am now an email subscriber.

jenskie June 1, 2010 at 3:43 AM  

hi! following you from Follow me back Tuesday. love to be your new blogger pal, pls follow back :) tnx tnx!


Unknown June 1, 2010 at 5:43 AM  

Hurrah for Jakob! The little ones have so much wisdom sometimes, don't they?

Following you from Friday Follow Me.
Glad to have found you!

Simply Stacie June 1, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

Following you from Follow Me Back Tuesdays!

Unknown June 1, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

I'm a new follower from Follow Back Tuesday. I hope you'll come check me out at PS Mom Reviews and follow me too!

Deb K June 1, 2010 at 10:02 AM  


Hi! I am following you now~You can find me here~

Thanks and Have A Super day!!

♥Jennette♥ June 1, 2010 at 10:21 AM  

I am a new follower from Follow me back Tuesday! Hope you visit as well. Have a great day.
Smart and Trendy Moms

Sey June 1, 2010 at 12:25 PM  

I am a new follower from Follow Me back Tuesday.

am looking forward to read your post

Java June 2, 2010 at 5:50 AM  


I added your blogs to the Over 40 Bloggers List!!

Thanks for joining and I'm looking forward to our new friendship!

My husband is bioplar too and has had it for 17 years!

Have a wonderful rest of your week!!

Bring Pretty Back June 2, 2010 at 7:46 AM  

Hi! I just read your comment you left about being married 22 years and your hubby is still excited about what you have on! Thats awesome!!!!!
I love it!

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