Memorial Day in San Francisco
The Presidio in San Francisco is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area It is also is home to one of our national cemeteries. When exploring the Presidio, hiking or running on the trails, slow your pace when you near the National Cemetery, and take time to reflect on the poignant poem posted at the top of the hill, above the cemetery.
The Young Dead Soldiers, by Archibald MacLeish
The young dead soldiers do not speak.
Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses:
who has not heard them?
They have a silence that speaks for them at night
and when the clock counts.
They say: We were young. We have died.
They say: We have done what we could
but until it is finished it is not done.
They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished
no one can know what our lives gave.
They say: Our deaths are not ours: they are yours,
they will mean what you make them.
They say: Whether our lives and our deaths were for
peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say,
it is you who must say this.
We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning.
We were young, they say. We have died; remember us.