Irish Quotations & Blessings For Memorial Day

On Memorial Day we remember those who have died for our freedom. We remember their courage and bravery, their service and sacrifices, and their families and friends who mourn them.

 Zachary Taylor Cemetry, Louisville

This weekend I say thank you to the many who have paid the ultimate price to uphold the principles upon which this nation was founded. We must never take liberty for granted, but must take time to pause and acknowledge the bravery of America’s finest men and women.

To mark Memorial Day this year I thought I might share some quotations form Irish men and women, together with the patriotic words of an Irish American President.

 

In Honor Of Our Fallen Heroes….

 

“Be my epitaph writ on my country’s mind,

‘He served his country and loved his kind’.”

~Thomas Davis (1814-1845)

 

 

 “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal;

Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

~ From An Irish Headstone.

 Memorial Day Flags at Zachary Taylor Cemetry, Louisville

 

“Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;

Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth….”

~ Thomas Moore

 

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces

but also by the men it honors,

the men it remembers.”

~John F. Kennedy

 

 

“Life springs from death:

and from the graves of patriot men and women

spring living nations.”

~ Patrick Pearse

 

 Flowers and American Flag On A Soldier's Grave

“It is not those who can inflict the most,

but those who can suffer the most who will conquer.”

~ Terence Mac Swiney

 

 

“Let every nation know,

whether it wishes us well or ill,

that we shall pay any price,

bear any burden,

meet any hardship,

support any friend,

oppose any foe

to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

~John F. Kennedy

 

 

“Liberty without learning is always in peril;

learning without liberty is always in vain.”

~John F. Kennedy

The Bivouac of the Dead

Commemorative Marker at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville

“The only thing for the triumph of evil

is for good men to do nothing.”

- Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)

 

 

“God willing He’ll keep them

who died fighting in war

God willing their memory

won’t stray from us far.

God willing He’ll bless them

who still fight the good fights

God willing He’ll bring

them safe home to our hearts.”

~ Irish Blessing For Soldiers

 

 

“Until we meet again, may God

Hold you in the palm of his hand.”

~ Irish Blessing

 

Tree at Zachary Taylor Cemetry

 Prayers For Those Who Mourn:

 

“The light of God surround you,

The love of God enfold you,

The power of God protect you,

The presence of God watch over you.”

~ Annonymous

 

“This day and always,

May God’s strength direct you,

May His power sustain you,

May His wisdom guide you,

And His vision light you.

His ear to your hearing,

His word to your speaking,

His hand to uphold you,

His pathway before you,

His shield to protect you,

And his legions to save you.”

~ Adapted From St. Patrick’s Prayer.

 

 

Memorial Day Flags at Zachary Taylor Cemetry, Louisville

 “On that day when the weight deadens on your shoulders

and you stumble, may the clay dance to balance you.

And when the ghost of loss gets into you,

may a flock of colors — indigo, red, green, and azure blue –

come to awaken in you a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays

and the stain of ocean blackens beneath you,

may there come across the waters a path of yellow moonlight

to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

may the clarity of light be yours,

may the fluency of the ocean be yours,

may the protection of the ancestors be yours,

and so may a slow wind work these words of love around you,

an invisible cloak to mind your life.”

~ John O’Donohue, Anam Chara.

 

 

“May you see God’s light on the path ahead

When the road you walk is dark.

May you always hear,

Even in your hour of sorrow,

The gentle singing of the lark.

When times are hard may hardness

Not turn your heart to stone,

And may you always remember

You do not walk alone.”

~ Irish Blessing In Time Of Sorrow

 American Flag On Grave For Memorial Day

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

 

Irish American Mom

 

 

“A good run is better than a bad stand”
Irish saying/prov

Memorial Day Thoughts

Recently I traveled to Florida and on my flight from Louisville to Atlanta I shared a soldier’s last journey home.  The experience heightened my personal awareness and reverence for the profound contributions of our servicemen and women.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiecoyote/5315469744/in/photostream/Image Credit

 

Today is Memorial Day, a day dedicated to remembering those who have died while serving our nation.  This day is a unifying way for all Americans to commemorate our shared history.  Today especially we honor those who have sacrificed everything to protect our freedoms.

 

“A hero is someone who has given his or her

life to something bigger than oneself.”

-Joseph Campbell

 

Only after the plane landed, the pilot shared with us that a fallen soldier was also on board.  When the plane reached the gate, nobody moved, sitting in reverential silence as the honor guard descended the steps to the tarmac.

I sat there speechless with my fellow passengers, internally processing the extraordinary selflessness of his service and his family’s great sacrifice.  He forfeited his future to preserve ours.

He died for our life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, values treasured by Americans since the time of the Revolutionary War.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chriswaits/5786211950/in/photostream/Image Credit

 

My seat was on the opposite side of the plane to where the honor guard saluted his arrival at the airport.   I did not witness his flag salute, but I paid him tribute in my thoughts.  When I finally left the plane his cortege was moving away, led by a dedicated transportation vehicle, adorned with the stars and stripes.  On the side the following words were painted:

 

“All Give Some,

Some Give All.”

 

This unknown soldier may always remain nameless to me and my fellow passengers, but in our hearts we commemorated his American identity and his sacrifice to protect our liberties.   As a nation of families and friends our thoughts were with his loved ones.  We will never forget their sacrifice, suffering and grief.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/goaliej54/2535289182/in/photostream/ Image Credit

 

“On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes

of a mighty nation!”

-Thomas William Parsons

 

Today, as I think back on this moving experience my prayers are dedicated to the memories of all soldiers killed in the far too many wars this nation has endured for the sake of liberty.

 

“And I’m proud to be an American,

where at least I know I’m free.

And I won’t forget the men who died,

who gave that right to me.”

-Lee Greenwood

 

 

May God Bless America and her courageous sons and daughters.

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom