“On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!” – Thomas William Parsons
One of my favorite things about growing up in south St. Louis was Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. The hallowed ground sitting along the banks of the Mississippi was a constant reminder of the sacrifices made by our veterans and how fortunate we all are because of their service to our country. It was much deeper than an appreciation, it was a reminder that I wanted, and perhaps needed, of the greatest purpose -- sacrificing one’s life so that another generation to come may enjoy theirs!
I can never be buried in Jefferson Barracks because I never served in the military. Although I never served, I did attend a military high school and was raised by a proud ex-Marine. I also had the honor, while in high school, to serve as a member of a Color Guard team for the annual Memorial Day celebration at Jefferson Barracks.
For me, the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery held a spiritual significance. Growing up, I was drawn to the Cemetery, often deviating from the quickest route home to drive by it and take in the beautiful simplicity of the rows of uniformed white tombstones. The Cemetery’s presence allowed me to put things in my life into perspective. Because of my curiosity, I wanted to know about each soldier: Did the date of death coincide with wartime? Who were their parents? What were their loves and interests? Where did they grow up? How many siblings did they have?
Luckily for me, no one in my immediate family has died in military service. In fact, the closest I’ve ever come to having some understanding of this ultimate sacrifice was through the death of one PFC, David Boever. He lived in a house next door to that of my grandparents. My mother, several years his elder, often interacted with him when he was a child. David lost his life in 1968 in the Vietnam War. I can recall holiday conversations between my grandparents, my mother and my uncle, talking about David and the day his parents were given the tragic news of his having been killed in action.
I wish that more people were as fortunate as me in not having someone very close to them die in war, but I know, sadly, that many people have suffered through this grief. Here at Marc Skid, our belief is that brands should be more like people. One of the key characteristics that we admire in people is that of a purposeful existence. I cannot think of anything that speaks more powerfully to a purposeful existence than having given one’s life for one’s country and its people.
Memorial Day is our national holiday to remember and honor the soldiers who have died in the line of duty. We here at Marc Skid salute our fallen heroes and express our deepest gratitude to the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.