May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Tribute...

The first time that Handsome and I watched Ken Burns' "Civil War" series, we were moved to tears when we heard the letter written by Sullivan Ballou to his dear wife, Sarah as he prepared to leave for his first battle. Being read against the background of the musical piece, Ashoken Farewell, made it that much more poignant. Since that first time, I've heard it performed by Handsome, and on one occassion, I sang in our local Chorale as the letter was once again read to an audience that was equally moved.

Oftentimes, these war experiences belong to someone else, and are only stories we read about with scholarly concern. However, in going through our own family documents, we have found a series of letters written by an ancestor, A.F. Davis, to his loving wife, also named Sarah, whom he nicknamed "Sally". 
One of his first letters so reminds me of the Sullivan Ballou letter that I'm unable to read it aloud without tears streaming down my cheeks. The stories of the Civil War are so poignant and touching, and the devastation of war touched nearly everyone. There were neighbors killing neighbors and the skirmishes were such that you looked your enemy in the eyes as they died.

Our ancestor joined the Union Army in 1861 and served for four years. He survived the war and lived to the age of sixty one, keeping a journal of his letters and experiences. He had a long, happy life with his "Sally" and their children.. Even so, that first letter as he prepared to leave for war continues to hold my heart.
As we sit down to share a meal with our loved ones this Memorial Day, let us not forget to give thanks for all of the soldiers who served, paying the ultimate price for our freedom. Whether in the Civil War or the too many wars since, may their sacrifices never be forgot.

3 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Donna, that was amazing. I am inspired by this man's beautiful letter. It touched my heart. Thank you for sharing. There were several notable Civil War battles in Missouri and I have visited many of these locations. We live close by Wilson's Creek Battlefield and I was there just last week. Have a blessed day, dear friend! Twyla

Createology said...

Donna Dear this is a moving and lovely tribute to all those who allow us the freedoms we enjoy in our lives. May we never forget their sacrifices. Hugs dear friend...

db4f1708-6cd8-11e2-bbe8-000f20980440 said...

I love the Alto Sewing machine prototype. Saw this last year & kept trying to find a retail price but it wasn't available yet. Love the idea & look. Wonder how it sews?


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