The Brotherhood of Volunteers

My father sends:

"Texas brothers standing guard over the fallen in West."

This is how it was of old. Do you remember how much attention the Greeks before Troy, or the Trojans themselves, gave to guarding the bodies of their fallen? These are the opening lines of the Iliad: "Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures[.]"

But not if we watched, and held the field, that honor might be done to them instead. That was the force of the last chapters of the Iliad, when Priam came to beg Achilles for the right to bury his son, and when that burial was done with all honor. Do we remember these things? Perhaps it does not matter that we remember, so long as we still do.

1 comment:

douglas said...

My father had just got out of basic when his father died. He rushed home and stood guard all night at the funeral home. I've been taught a lot about honor by my father, and I suppose he must have been taught well by his.

So long as we do, it's good, but how will the future generations know to do if we don't have the stories to inculcate them?