In Flanders Field the poppies grow
Beneath the Cross, punctuated by Stars of David that mark the graves of sweethearts, fiancées, husbands, brothers, fathers, grandfathers and uncles.
Where are the monuments commemorating the women who loved them or would have loved them had they come home?
Surely Great-Aunt Melinda had a beau, but she joined the windows wearing black in honor of her father, my great-grandfather, one of the 600,000 who died in this country’s “Great War.”
Great-Uncle Foy just couldn’t wear his gas mask in France.
He lived out his life in the mental institution in Tuscaloosa.
He couldn’t be anyone’s husband.
Uncle John was blown to bits making ammunition at DuPont. We buried a little finger and some bits of skins; there is no monument for his widow and child.
In Normandy, in 1968, the crosses and Stars of David seemed to go on for miles. The French were there, reading the great monuments, nodding respectfully to us, whom they knew were Americans.
In the village restaurant several of them came and thanked us — they remembered — in 1968.
Chrys Malone Street