Memorial Day

From my sketchbook. A visit to the gravesite in Epinal of my mother’s beloved, and only, brother, a pilot shot down over France in 1944.


I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My county is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

—William Butler Yeats
CakeWeddingAriel and Sam

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2 Responses to “Memorial Day”

  1. Maryellen says:

    I know what a loss that would have been.

  2. Sheila says:

    He died long before I was born, but of course I heard stories about him. A bright and very funny guy, apparently, and his four sisters were crazy about him. As the only son of a rancher, he didn’t have to enlist, but, like so many others, he did. He left a young wife and a baby boy.

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