Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fallen Heroes


Last year I wrote a post entitled, “Remembering Young Lives Cut Short on a Hot Alabama Day.”

I had visited Oakwood Cemetery Annex in Montgomery, Alabama, where Confederate sons of the South rested near the graves of British airmen sent to train at Maxwell Air Force Base during WWII. Yet many more visitors come to see the grave of country music legend Hank Williams than pause at the graves of these fallen soldiers.

This morning, a reader named Chris left a comment about the old post:
It was with great interest that my mother and I belatedly read your blog. The RAF pilot you refer to, Frank Marhoff, was my grandfather. It was quite strange but pleasing to see that someone on the other side of the world, who neither knows our family nor is connected to it, has taken notice of a grave that only one of us has ever been able to visit. I shall email you more fully care of your blog address, but once again, thanks for taking the time to think about my grandfather.

We all want to think that our time here on earth matters—that someone notices that we were born, lived and died. Maybe we aren’t a famous celebrity. We might not have invented a new medicine, flew to the moon or ran for political office. Yet, the human in us wants to know that life is precious and that our time here, short as it is, mattered to someone.

11 comments:

Chris said...

Mentioned by name in your blog - how lovely. I hope my longer email got through to you okay!

Marsha said...

Wow, what a small world we live in. We always try to pause and pay our respects at a cities war memorials when we visit. Most cities all over the world have war memorials.

Marion said...

Wow! How completely wonderful for you, Sheila! And for Frank Marhoff's family...a gift, validating their grandfather's life.

There are no words to describe how I would feel, should this kind of synchronicity happen to me.

Chris said...

Talk about synchronicity - it is a very small world indeed. I was showing my wife a picture of my grandfather's headstone that we have just found elsewhere on the web, courtesy of www.findagrave.com (do you Americans have a website for everything?) and she noticed that today is in fact the 66th anniversary of his death, something that I hadn't realised when I found this blog.

Sheila said...

Marsha,
I used to think all these war memorials were mere monuments but I now think that they are all a call to remember the young lives given in just and unjust wars. Lives left unfinished. Pieces of the family puzzle missing but remembered by those who loved them.

Marion,
I was touched to find this remote connection. Well, you know I am big about connections. It is one of the best things about blogging and goes to show you never know who your words are reaching.

Chris,
Yes, we Americans are that way. What unusual timing!

Sheila said...

I meant to say I'd post Chris'e-mail tomorrow but life intrudes this afternoon. He furnishes the rest of the story and it is a lovely one.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

that is amazing! and lovely...

smiles, bee

Palm Springs Savant said...

what a wonderful story Sheila, truly inspiring too

Sarge Charlie said...

Wow, that is what I say

NN said...

what a wonderful story. makes the world seem so small, as it truly is.

Naomi said...

This is a beautiful post Sheila. I loved it. Those fallen soldiers are the true heroes of our time. They made a difference to all of our lives and gave us all the freedom we have today. We should remember them with the true love and respect they deserve.