Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Happy Memorial Day

May 30th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Enjoy the holiday, folks. Here’s a little something for your consideration:

“O mother! What do they mean by blue?
And what do they mean by gray?”
I heard from the lips of a little child
As she bounded in from her play.
The mother’s eyes were filled with tears;
She turned to her darling fair
And smoothed away from the sunny brow
The treasure of golden hair.

“Why, mother’s eyes are blue, my sweet,
And grandpa’s hair is gray,
And the love we bear our darling child
Grows stronger every day.”
“For what do they mean?” maintained the child,
“For I saw two cripples to-day,
And one of them said he had ‘fought for the blue,’
The other had ‘fought for the gray.’

“The one of the blue had lost a leg,
And the other had but one arm,
And both seemed worn and weary and sad,
Yet their greeting was kind and warm,
They told of the battles in days gone by
Till it made my blood run chill,
The leg was lost in the Wilderness fight
And the arm on Malvern Hill.

“They sat on the stone by the farmyard gate
And talked for an hour or more,
Till their eyes grew bright and their hearts seemed warm
With fighting their battles o’er;
And parted at last with a friendly grasp,
In a kindly, brotherly way,
Each asking God to speed the time
Uniting the blue and the gray.”

Then the mother thought of other days,
Two stalwart boys from her riven;
How they’d knelt at her side, and, lisping, prayed:
“Our Father, who art in heaven;”
How one wore the gray and the other the blue,
How they passed away from sight
And had gone to the land where gray and blue
Merge in tints of celestial light.

And she answered her darling with golden hair,
While her heart was sorely wrung
With thoughts awakened in that sad hour
By her innocent, prattling tongue;
“The blue and the gray are the colors of God;
They are seen in the sky at even,
And many a noble, gallant soul
Has found them passports to heaven.”

– Author Unknown



9 Responses to “Happy Memorial Day”

  1. It’s very touching!

  2. Louis E. says:

    I wonder who came up with this revisionism…the holiday originated as “Decoration Day” for decorating the graves of Union veterans,not Rebels,which is why it took so long to catch on in the South.While healing is to be hailed,we need to avoid imputations of equality in fighting for right and for wrong.

  3. Gretchen says:

    Louis, the South will rise again, but this time under Yankee management! ;-D

  4. Bill B. says:

    The south is rising again with the children of the north moving there. Drive along any street in metropolitan Charlotte, NC for example. There are more Buffalo Bills, Steelers, Green Bay and the rest flags flying from front porches than the Charlotte Panthers. If we had the jobs here when our kids graduated from local colleges, the odds are they still would leave because of our wonderful weather. I guess this larger neck of the woods is called the “rust belt” for a reason.

  5. Dr. K says:

    And we might have more jobs here if the NYS taxes weren’t so high.

  6. Ben Anderson says:

    I agree taxes are too high, but our area isn’t all doom and gloom. I recently went to a seminar and one of the speakers said that the tech unemployment rate in Rochester is lower than most parts of the country. Forbes just rated Rochester #1 best place to buy a home (I’m always skeptical of the way in which they determine this stuff, but nevertheless…).

    What other area can you get nice home for a decent price w/in driving distance of a decent sized city w/out a bad commute? Top that off with great culture (music and the arts). I wouldn’t live anywhere else if you paid me… except perhaps Witchita.

    To those who abandon the north, I say good riddance. You don’t deserve to wave your Steeler flags.

  7. Gretchen says:

    We moved here from Raleigh, NC by choice. My husband and children and I all love it here. We miss only our friends and Bishop Burbidge!

  8. Bill B. says:

    Ben: You croak on those who left the area too much. For the past 30 years this area tanked. How many of our jobs left the area between when our children were born and a resurgance now? “To those who abandon the north, I say good riddance. You don’t deserve to wave your Steeler flags” is an insult. When mine left, they had memory of rotten winters and completed college education with no local prospects. Not everyone is in the tech world. You have to go where you can find a reasonable job. This town was built on manufacturing. How many folks went from high school to Kodak and Xerox for their careers making things? Well, they are not making things any more, so where is the high school graduate to go, College? How are they to pay for it if Mama and Papa don’t have the money? Loans? Tons of kids are straddled with loans they can’t pay off or even claim in bankruptcy!
    If your comment was in jest, I missed the jest. I saw red.

  9. Ben Anderson says:

    Bill B.,
    My cheeky sarcasm tags didn’t show up as planned. I’ve edited my above comment to fix it. I was just joking. After all – I left my place of origin.

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