The suffering

A partial view of the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC, March 2005

A partial view of the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC, March 2005

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.    — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For Earl Glenn Cobeil, his family, and all whose suffering and sacrifice we remember today.

One year ago on Memorial Day:

Their courage


  1. We all owe them our gratitude and love. If not for the service men and women that are willing to give their life for us our freedom would no longer exist. Thank you to all of you.

    • Patricia, I echo your thanks! I feel honored to have spent the past 30 years in close proximity to the wonderful men and women in our military, whether active duty or retired (one thing I have learned is that military retirees remain “military folks” in spirit for their entire lives). “All gave some, but some gave all” and I think of them often, with a grateful heart.

  2. Ann

    Memorial Day and what it represents makes me so sad. Hardly a time for BBQ and fun at the lake/beach…

  3. Susan

    My thoughts are with you, with them.

    • Thank you Susan!

  4. raynard

    Julia, I’m listening to Focus on the Family’s Tribute to Veterans online as I type this. It may not be a beach visit or bbq today for me but remember those who gave their life for this country to make bbq’s and beach visits possible.Yesterday going to NJ was very emotional and draining.I’m just resting today and some chores . Hope you and the family are enjoying this day . Temps in the 80’s so no need to”be out in the sun” ( had enough desert lol) be blessed

    • Raynard, I’m glad you took today to rest up. Sorry yesterday was draining but I hope you are happy to have made the trip. It was 89 outside today according to our thermometer – I’m definitely glad I worked outside the previous two days instead of today! Jeff and Matt watch the Memorial Day concert broadcast from DC every year – I think it is on the Mall but as with many such things, it’s a better view via TV and minus the crowds! Hope you have a great week!

  5. Beverley

    Julia, Thank you for stirring our hearts to not forget the suffering of those who have bravely fought for freedom. Your post “one year ago” is also very well stated. Prayerfully remembering “the sacrifice”.

    • Thank you, Beverly. I appreciate your remembrance today. For those who have lost loved ones it’s an everyday sorrow; I think it’s fitting that we set aside a day to remember that freedom has never been free.

  6. Beverley
    • Thanks for this link, Beverley! How touching to read of the soldier’s bible. I am happy it is treasured by those who know how to appreciate it.

  7. Larry

    Colonel, thank you for your many years of service for this great country. You have made an impression to everyone you have come in contact with. You may not realize it but thousands over the years have passed thru your care and were better for it. They came to you in pain and fear but by the end of their visit both were gone. You may not have set foot on a battlefield or single handed captured enemy but you have helped to preserve the freedom we have all come to enjoy and cherish. Lest we forget, thank you for your service and the hundreds of thousands who have also served this great nation, some even with the ultimate sacrifice.

    • Thanks Larry! Jeff never takes the time to read these comments, but I’ll tell him about this one and try to make sure he sees it. A lot of people don’t realize that military medical and dental folks have to learn all sorts of battlefield skills that their civilian counterparts never have to worry about, even if they are never deployed to a war zone (which many are). The challenges of dealing with war’s destruction evolve as the technology evolves, and the advent of IEDs meant an entirely new type of casualty. Walter Reed gets some bad press from time to time, but I have grown to have a great deal of respect for our medical personnel after spending over 6 weeks on the Wounded Warrior floor at that massive hospital.

  8. What a heartfelt tribute! Wonderfully composed photograph, too.

    • Thank you! I am happy that you appreciate Memorial Day and all that it represents.

  9. Though I am a 71-year-old African-American woman, this Memorial Day was the first time I became aware of this bit of history. Just wanted to share.

    • Yvonne, just recently I had come across that story and like you, I had never heard it, despite Blight’s book having been published back in 2001. It’s a very touching story, and I liked the poem that referenced the dry bones from the old song based on Ezekiel. There is so much of history that is largely unknown, even to those of us who enjoy reading about it. Not far from our York home is Fort Monroe, one of the oldest military bases that is fascinating to visit, and it was there I first learned about how it became known as “Freedom’s Fort” after enslaved people fled there for safety under Commander Benjamin Butler’s ruling that basically overturned the Fugitive Slave Act. The article you linked is another example of little-known U. S. history. Thanks for sharing it!

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