top of page

Memento Mori

Our great Brother, Walt Whitman wrote:

Thus in silence in dreams’ projections, Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals, The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand, I sit by the restless all the dark night, some are so young, Some suffer so much, I recall the experience sweet and sad, (Many a soldier’s loving arms about this neck have cross’d and rested, Many a soldier’s kiss dwells on these bearded lips.)

The Freedmen of Charleston SC made for the Civil War soldiers proper graves, exhuming the bodies of Union soldiers imprisoned in Washington Race Course, left piled like cordwood, giving to each a separate space, a place to return to earth, a marking stone. After two weeks, they were done, and inaugurated this day of honor, come to be known as Memorial Day.

Today, I have inadequate words for those who have died in this endless war humanity is waging upon itself and upon the earth and the other beings of the earth. All I can do is send out compassion in my meditation and my prayers today for those involved on any side, and for those left behind to deal with rape, disease, terror, loss, PTSD, missing limbs, and tortured hearts and minds. Whether military or civilian, we all pay the cost of war. The cost is too high.

These words are my small marking stone.

What is remembered, lives.

I leave you with this song about the pain of separation, and missing those at war:

Race Course Graveyard photo from Library of Congress

(post first written by T. Thorn Coyle in 2011, links updated in 2019)

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page