Monday, May 31, 2010

Decoration Day

So, off we'll go, Mimi & I, in the next little while, up to the cemetery to place some of the last peonies hereabouts on a trio of graves. Thirty years it's been since my little brother was planted in one of them. Paul Wesley Harness, of the glorious brown eyes, enviable eyelashes. A 21-year-old soldier he was, posted in Germany, when he was killed. Passed out I reckon he was, riding in a car driven by a buddy who'd been drinking, who took an icy corner too quickly. Now his bones rest beside those of our folks, Elaine Wolfe Harness (1928-1992) and Raymond Robert Harness (1922-2008), veteran of WWII. He was a Coast Guard radio operator in the South Pacific.
Far away from here, away off in Scotland, is another graveyard, St. Mun's Churchyard. According to, there lie the bones of Elizabeth Blackwell, who passed from this earth 100 years ago today (on the 91st anniversary of the birth of Walt Whitman). 'Twas in the year 1849, the gents that ran Geneva Medical College, in Geneva, NY, awarded Miss Blackwell a diploma, making her this nation's 1st female M.D.
"It is not easy to be a pioneer," wrote Dr. Blackwell, " -- but oh, it is fascinating! I would not trade one moment, even the worst moment, for all the riches in the world."
If you happen to be in Kilmun, Scotland, today, do festoon Dr. Blackwell's grave with posies. Decorate her memory with gratitude, your acknowledgment of her determination & intellect.

No comments:

Post a Comment