Once a year those who gave “the last full measure of devotion” are remembered and honored. We as a nation, decorate their graves and pay our respects to “those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.” As President Lincoln stated, “It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.”
There are those who have not completely died. For these there is partial death – the emptiness that only memory occasionally salves.
The poet John Milton, discussing his blindness, understood that “They also serve who only stand and wait.” That meaning is not lost to families at home suffering for an absent loved one.
For some families the wait is long, but the loved one does return. Their service ends in bursts of joy.