Remember May 27, 2023



Remember this Memorial Day weekend, you have heard me rant before, is not a day to buy towels on sale. These couple of days are not mattress sale days, it is not even a barbeque day although I can justify that better than mattresses.

It is a sad weekend about what we have lost.

      It is about places.

This weekend is about places. Some, places we know—Concord, Vicksburg, The Somme, Bastogne, Chosin, Khe Sahn, Fallujah, Kandahar and a thousand more places we have never heard of, except for those few who were there.

It’s a day about names—lists and lists and lists of names. People like Tony, Will, Benton, Matt, Omar, Jose, Joshua, Emil, Christine, Beverly, Ben, Lori, Samuel and Joe, but for this weekend, only the names of those who did not come home.

Today is a sad weekend.

It will be about, for those who remember, those names pictured and held only in memories. Images, sound of their voices, their laughter, quiet moments being held or holding each other, scrapbooks of old pictures, letters, cards, some kept because a whiff of their scent still could be found on the fabric.

Remember-those of us left, after all these names and places, and what we owe them. In most cases, we owe them our lives, our way of life, our freedom.

I have to admit, I have to stop and think about it. It doesn’t come naturally for me. The world spinning around with all the noise it projects, the distractions from life, those things that bump in to me I have to say ‘excuse me’ to. Those names and places, they require me to stop and think about them.

You see, those who are not with us, are humble souls. If not before they left us, definitely now, wherever they are. They are humbled by what they did for those who did not know them.

Remember, they are now professors of Love.

Pure Love.

Sacrificial Love.

They are authors of a story they never thought they, themselves, would write. Actors on a stage, if you will, they never thought they would play. For some of us, especially those who have a gapping hole in our lives with them gone, we grit our teeth and, with anger in our hearts, shake our fists and someone, anyone. For it must be someone’s fault.

And Evil smiles.

     …the moment to pass….

But if we allow the moment to pass and begin to think so clearly our mind functions again, we must turn to the one, the only One, who knows why. It is not a pretty conversation, the one you have with that One.

How could a faith in Peace and Love result in such a loss? We hear the placating words given to console and they only inflame. All we deal with is the realization our love is gone, our friend, our parent, someone who lived down the block. They are gone and for what?

Why would a faith in a God, supposedly a God of love, do or allow such a thing?

I don’t know.

But here is what I do know.

Remember, the same faith in The One, who created and authored what Love is. Since the world began, there has been a call for Love, sacrificial love. Love that would cost people everything they have. And with that cost, came the Author of the poem who designed certain people to follow this path. It was written on their hearts what has been echoed for ions-Whom shall I send? The Author asks in Isaiah.

     “Send me….”

“Send me, Lord.”

Yeah, we got to hang out with people such as these. We got time with them, to laugh and cry and hug and love and walk and play, with them.

Then, those we miss, left us. They did not fight those words, but were drawn to the task, giving what was required, at a precise moment, in a precise place, for a Plan of enormous complexity.


So, remember this weekend, love well those we have. I have said before, I think those whose names we say, don’t want us to grind our teeth and be angry. They want us to cherish what we have–what they bought. Celebrate what was done—for us. So, maybe it’s okay to have a hotdog or buy that full size mattress with a pillow top. In a way, they bought it for us.

Oh yeah, remember they loved us well!

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About Mark Williams
Mark Williams spent the first twenty-one years of his career as a Special Agent for the Organized Crime Division of the State Attorney General’s Office. As part of his duties, he investigated organized crime, homicides, and fraud cases submitted by other agencies to that office. He has traveled across the United States as an instructor for law enforcement in various capacities. After he retired, he became a high school English teacher at an inner-city school in central Phoenix where he is the fourth generation in his family to live in the valley. Mark retired from his second career and has published eight novels. He was married for almost thirty-eight years and was widowed in 2018. Mark has three grown children and ten grandchildren. You can read more about the author here.

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