DOVE (38 K)

In Memoriam


Dedicated to John J. ("Whitey") Maher
2nd Platoon, A Battery

Born 25 January 1923, Brooklyn, NY
Died 10 February 2001, Mineola, NY

You Are Not Forgotten

FOLDED FLAG (7 K)   And so on this Winter's day in 2001, we fold a flag for another Skylighter, gone long after the din of battle has faded from the fields of '44-45 ... gone, but not forgotten.

   106 years ago (September 5, 1895), lecturer Robert G. Ingersoll made the following speech at the reunion of the surviving members of his old Civil War regiment, the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry. His tribute to his comrades then is an appropriate tribute now ... to "Whitey" and, indeed, all of the Skylighters and World War II veterans everywhere, wherever they may be, and on whichever side of the veil they reside.
   It gives me the greatest pleasure to meet again those with whom I became acquainted in the morning of my life. It is now afternoon. The sun of life is slowly sinking in the west, and, as the evening comes, nothing can be more delightful than to see again the faces that I knew in youth.

   When first I knew you the hair was brown; it is now white. The lines were not quite so deep, and the eyes were not quite so dim. Mingled with this pleasure is sadness — sadness for those who have passed away — for the dead.

   And what shall I say to you, survivors of the death-filled days? To you, my comrades, to you whom I have known in the great days, in the time when the heart beat fast and the blood flowed strong; in the days of high hope — what shall I say?

   All I can say is that my heart goes out to you, one and all. To you who bared your bosoms to the storms of war; to you who left loved ones, to die if need be, for the sacred cause. May you live long in the land you helped to save; may the winter of your age be as green as spring, as full of blossoms as summer, as generous as autumn, and may you, surrounded by plenty, with your wives at your sides and your grandchildren on your knees, live long.

   And when at last the fires of life burn low; when you enter the deepening dusk of the last of many, many happy days; when your brave hearts beat weak and slow, may the memory of your splendid deeds; deeds that freed your fellow-men; deeds that kept your country on the map of the world; deeds that kept the flag of the Republic in the air — may the memory of these deeds fill your souls with peace and perfect joy. Let it console you to know that you are not to be forgotten.

   Centuries hence your story will be told in art and song, and upon your honored graves flowers will be lovingly laid by men and women now unborn.


When you remember me
It means that you carried
Something of who I am with you,
That I have left some mark of who I am
On who you are.
It means that even after I die,
You can still see my face
And hear my voice and speak to me
In your heart.
For as long as you remember me,
I am never entirely lost.

— Anonymous


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