Friday, January 18, 2013

1407. American Legion

Back in Cohasset at the Woodside Cemetery.

Memorialization is an interesting concept, in that, when we think about it, we pick and choose who it is that we set up permanent memorials to as a society. Yes, we have the concept down that all individuals deserve their just due at death, handled privately by families; but what groups of people do we remember, and how?

Combat veterans have their memorials, and they oftentimes float out of cemeteries into town greens, or other prominent places in our communities. Gold Star Mothers - those moms who lost sons to military service during the wars - are another such group, and this particular cemetery has one of the most beautiful such displays I've ever seen. I often passed it on Route 3A, saw the back of the stones, wondered what it was.

But Cohasset has another marker that stands out, placed by the American Legion: In memory of their gallant service we dedicate this spot to those of our war dead who have no other resting place.

It's horrible to think about it, but there were those who didn't come home, for one reason or another, from so many wars. Some are interred elsewhere, some died at sea and were there "buried." Others...well, there's no need to be graphic. We know why others never came home.

The fraternity of military men and women stretches across generations, from war to war, and heart to heart. When my father passed away, total strangers came to his service - just because he'd worn the uniform of the United States. As long as there are military services, there will be American Legions; as long as there are American Legions, our lost soldiers will be memorialized.

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