Ara Mgrdichian/akm

“Nam qui in obscuro serviunt…”

On this Veterans Day, that means so much to all of us and so much more to some of us, let this tattered flag of remembrance unfurl and it’s words ring out across oceans and lands to reach all those stalwart, silent warriors, veterans of wars known and unknown, battles fought—both won and lost—some in the most remote locales of mind and place, yet closer to us than we know. 

Let this ring out to all of those often required to serve without uniform or acknowledgment, doing the hard, harder, and hardest things because they believe and because they can for the salvation of fellow human beings.

Let it reach the facilitators and creators of realities against all odds, “the leg breakers of history,” the soldiers of the head and the hand whose capacities brim and burst the limits of the good and encompass the great in both courage and kindness.

Let a subtle salute be sent to all those who, should they be caught or fail in the completion of sacred tasks, officialdom shall deny all knowledge of their astounding existences and  acts of bravery.

Let this missive resonate in the hearts of all those who when they do succeed in their missions, know there shall be even greater silence and no one shall recognize their great deeds—for no one must—but so many shall benefit.
The realities these men and women  help  create, tooth and nail, with sacrifice and service unknowable, shall speak volumes for generations. 

These men and women whether now resting in marked or unmarked graves, with or without commensurate memorialization, or those who somehow survived to fight again, and to the end, fir all that which others had given up, let them feel these words. 

Let all of those hear, too, who now live among us without giving off even a hint of the miracles they have wrought while following operational protocols that have kept them silent and unassuming, unto death, where they surely, each and every one, will regroup and reup to fight again and again with the same love and commitment they marshaled in life. 

While never uttering outright, “Freedom or Death,” but always, always living and acting in the very essence of that hallowed and demanding credo handed down to us from our forbears and betters, from the time of the first darkness, these heroes continued and continue to shine a great light upon us, a light whose source we will never really see or know, but whose strength and veracity we feel upon our very skins, fueling our survival everyday and forevermore.