Remembered with Love

Article excerpt

I always wondered about the connection between veterans and their fallen comrades they come back to cemeteries honor and remember. Take a Memorial Day ceremony a few years ago at Margraten American Cemetery in Holland. At its conclusion, I decided in the time I had left to walk through as many of the rows of heroes as possible--say their names, see where they were from. And just offer up a thank you, and let them know they are not, and will never be, forgotten.

I hadn't gone very far when an elderly woman came jostling by. She caught my attention for many reasons. She was dressed rather oddly in an old dress accompanied by a dated hat.

Despite the solemn occasion, she had a brilliant grin on her face. And although a senior citizen, there was a defiant spring in her step--definitely a lady with a purpose.

The most curious item of all was the huge bag she was carrying. I couldn't imagine what was in it, but I didn't have to wait long to find out.

She stopped about five markers down from me and began pulling various items out. The first was an old Army jacket that she lovingly placed around the horizontal arms of the cross.

Next, she spread out what had to be the most beautiful homemade quilt I'd ever seen, and then strategically placed various pieces of memorabilia about.

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There were pictures and what looked like high school or college year books. There was even an old kewpie doll she brought out I thought the Soldier she was visiting must have won for her at some shooting gallery--she'd kept it all these years.

It was her next item that sent me and other onlookers looking for a handkerchief. …