an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Soldier

civil-war era headstone with flag

Soldier

FOR VETERAN’S DAY…

In the dense, comforting shade of a century-old spreading maple, a section of the row of headstones farthest back in the military veteran’s section, the first stones to be installed during the Civil War, read only:

SOLDIER
1861–1865

A father, brother, husband, son of someone, unknown, but honored by a headstone that tells of his final sacrifice, rests there.

One of the most moving photos I took from the 2010 Memorial Day ceremony at Chartiers Cemetery, but perhaps the most fitting, no name, no rank, no distinguishing remarks, but the most common thread of all, a soldier.

And not just in remembering the Civil War, or even other conflicts following. My ancestors were fighting their own civil wars in Eastern Europe at the time of America’s Civil War, only one in a long line of civil wars that perhaps finalized their decisions to leave the only land they’d known to come to America for freedom and a chance at the dream they’d never see, not even today, in the lands where their families had lived for centuries. A few decades later, they had no qualms about bearing arms and traveling back to those lands to protect the country they had embraced as their home. Centuries of soldiers everywhere who fought for freedom, protected their loved ones, gave their lives, each brought us a step closer. May the day soon come when no one needs to die for freedom.

This photo is one of my most often-shared images from this site and on Pinterest; I am honored. 

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4 responses

  1. I can understand why it is so shared, it is a very good one, simple and moving, and of course perfect for the day.

    November 11, 2012 at 11:07 am

    • Maru, I knew as soon as I took it that it was special–I cry easily, and so I did that day.

      November 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

  2. Just lovely and very appropriate for the day.

    November 11, 2012 at 10:49 am

    • Thank you, jenfbs, and for taking the time to comment.

      November 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

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