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Memorial Day brings back memories of all those loved ones who have passed on.  Hopefully memories are good ones that can be recalled with warm feelings. My mother loved our boys and enjoyed being a part of their life. My father died at age 70, but she live on to be 93. She enjoyed watching them grow and seeing them become parents to her great grandchildren. We look back with fond memories of those days.

Memorial Day brings

memories of lost loved ones.

Always in our hearts


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Patriotic Pride

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On a trip to Myrtle Beach, we saw this truck parked on a corner, in front of a motel where everyone would see. The U.S. Army flag was kept unfurled with a rod. Many returning Veterans wanted all to know that though they came back home, some of their fellow soldiers did not survive. Patriotism and Pride runs deep this Memorial Day.

Band of Brothers’ bond

runs deep, remembering those

flag covered coffins


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Beach Weekend

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People in the United States look forward to the long Memorial Day weekend. Lovers of sun and surf fill the motels, injecting the local economies with much needed cash input! As the sun goes down the beaches gradually empty, restaurants fill with hungry beach-goers, and walkers enjoy the cool of the evening. Lights blink on as the sky turns orange.  Everyone will sleep well!

Memorial Day sun

drops below the horizon.

Ocean mirror shines


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Blood and Poppies

EER_0518Each Memorial Day, when I was young, the large community cemetery behind our church filled with flags that waved across the sloping hillside. Volunteers from the VFW commemorate those soldiers who died in service to their country by placing a flag on each grave. I never saw any poppies growing as in Flanders’s Field, but many other flowers dotted the hillside along with the flags.

Memories are mixed

Joy and sorrow flows freely

as blood // and poppies

wave on the resting places

of those who never came home


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone asked to write a Haikai poem Haiku or Tanka that reflects on some aspect of Memorial Day.  Check them all out at:

#Haikai Challenge #35 (5/26/18): Memorial Day #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga




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On this Memorial Day weekend we remember the lives lost in wars fought on foreign soil or at sea.  When I see the rows and rows of white crosses in the field at Normandy, I am sad for the lives that never became doctors, teachers, or presidents. I am struck by the importance of remembering those who are gone. It is necessary so they are not lost in the passing of time. It is important to remember so that perhaps we can learn from the past and not repeat the history that brought death to so many young men, who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  We must remember those we love and care about.


What does it mean to remember someone

How does it affect us

To remember is to give life to the past

Remembering actions a smile or special connection

A parent who is gone a lost love or a soldier who has died

We raise statues in tribute to the famous

Or put stars on a walk of fame

Remembering helps pass on values and virtues

Reinforcing what we consider to be truth

Remembering covers a wide range

From sacrifice to nurture to accomplishment

For some remembering is a painful experience

Of evil done or atrocities we witnessed

Some wish not to remember but find it necessary

For healing and renewal for the future

Some remember again and again year after year

Because of the contributions given to their wellbeing

We remember those we love

Because one day we will become those persons

Hopefully remembered by those who love us

 As someone who live life well


Photo of three generations: Dwight L. Roth




Remembering the Side Effects of War

Poetry in Song

I have enjoyed the Music of Johnny Cash for many years. He has a way of touching the hearts of the common man. His songs cover a broad spectrum that include this Ballad of Ira Hayes. A Native American, Ira Hayes fought in WWII. He was quite significant at the time, but after coming home he lost touch and became a hard drinking alcoholic. The experiences of war have irrevocable effects on those who witness the atrocities of war. Death and carnage stick in the mind and haunt many who come back from their tours or duty.  In a recent report from the VA, they say twenty veterans commit suicide each day across the country! This is such a sad statistic, and one our country should take very seriously before sending our young men into war.  This Memorial Day is a tribute to all those men who both gave and took their lives.

I hope you enjoy this story in song as you reflect on these statistics.