An excerpt of this article appeared in the May/June 2015 issue; the article was originally published as “In Memoriam” in The Saturday Evening Post on June 2, 1956.
From Arlington to remote prairie shrines to foreign fields, America provides resting place for her fallen sons. Now, on this poignant 30th day of May, we revive the memory of heroes with living blossoms.
Jimmy Collins was a long way from home when a Japanese machine gun cut him down in 1944. He died in New Guinea, at 27, then returned to lie forever in Kansas earth. Each year on Memorial Day his father and mother drive 70 miles from their farm to Fort Scott National Cemetery. With Jimmy’s parents in this photograph are three little Collinses who also came to honor the uncle they never knew.
Long after the agony of Bunker Hill, Bull Run and Bastogne, the dead lie in peace. They and their comrades have left us names the world can never forget — Shiloh, Chateau-Thierry, Iwo Jima, the Normandy beachhead and the Pusan Perimeter. We gave the ground they lie in; they hallow it. Afternoon shadows lengthen on Memorial Day, somewhere faintly a bugle blows taps, and we renew the resolve Abraham Lincoln bequeathed us — that “these dead shall not have died in vain.”