thoughts from the road

By July 17, 20102010, Europe

A good beer brewed from the righteous land of Belgium is the best way to end any day. Tomorrow we head across the channel to London; English pubs and fish chips are already calling my name. We have traveled across Europe now and have seen many things.

The other day we visited Vimy Ridge, a WWI memorial site. I looked around it and found the name of a relative on the wall, one that my mother showed me when we were there together 8 years ago. The names that cover this
monument are for the fallen soldiers that were not found. Many of them were volunteers who died without a trace, and all that is left is a name etched into a stone wall. I would have had no idea that I had any form of family on that wall had my parents not shown me.

What would it be like to be a volunteer in a war? To die for a good cause, but to die lost? Are the fallen lost if their name is written on a wall with hundreds and hundreds of other names? Here I sit writing and having a beer. Will my name be written on a wall, will it be remembered?

Regardless, whether my name is etched on a wall on not, I think that it is not how your name is remembered by those who come after you, but how your life is lived. Living well seems to be what is important. Seeing these names, and the names of so many others, on monuments and memorials all over Europe, it is not the name that lives on in stone, but the memory of the life that was lived, that is written in people’s hearts.

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