Today, is Mother’s Day and this week saw the 70th anniversary of V-E Day. On one hand we celebrate all of the Mother’s out there and on the other hand we need to remember the sons and daughters of many mothers who have given their sons and daughters in the wars that mark man’s history.
The celebration of the allied victory in Europe, 70 years ago saw civilization triumph over barbarity. France has long rows of crosses marking the deaths of young sons who have lost their lives on the fields of foreign lands. World War II was one of the few wars in history worth the sacrifice of every one who died to make men and women free from tyranny.
Our own Civil War ended 150 years ago. The stillness of our own battlefields belie the sacrifice of too many. We forget that those men on the side of the North and the South were sons of many mothers. We forget that each soldier was a real person with a real family and friends left behind to be remembered for what could have been.
Willie, the ten year old son of Abraham Lincoln left behind a poem in remembrance of a dear friend of the family Edward Baker. Baker died at Ball’s Bluff. Part of the poem read as follows: “No squeamish notions filled his breast, The Union was his theme, No surrender and no compromise, his day thought and night’s dream.”
“His country has her part to play, to’rds those he left behind, His widow and his children all,–She must always keep in mind.”
Young Willie’s words inspired his Father, the President, after Willie’s death when Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address, reminded the nation as follows: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.”
We would be well to remember the human aspect of war and the necessity to take care of those who came home and the need to take care of the families of those who lost loved ones in some battlefield in a far off land or even near our homes. Our veterans need care as do the widows and children of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. There is no partisanship when it comes to the shared responsibility that each American shares in caring and acknowledging the debt that we owe each man and woman and each family and friend of those who have served in the military for us.