November 12, 2012 Features & Images » Feature Story

Lest we forget 

click to flip through (5) Roy Buchholz (right) with a friend at Trafalgar Square, London, U.K. during his service in WW II.
  • Roy Buchholz (right) with a friend at Trafalgar Square, London, U.K. during his service in WW II.

Page 10 of 11

The loss of any child is a very humbling experience for a parent. So many ambitions and expectations suddenly vanish.

A month after Nathan's Oct. 4 funeral, the Remembrance Day ceremony was my first without him and I went and became as one with society and a greater history in another completely unexpected way.

I had never told Nathan that when he was on parade with his regiment I had a hard time singling him out from the other soldiers despite the fact that he was always among the tallest. Now this was a strange comfort to me. He could be any one of these tall, proud soldiers standing at attention.


Some people see letters in living color.

For me, A is creamy white, like inside an apple,

B, sturdy gray brown,

C, yellow like corn, crisp-edged

L is silver like water,

M, when capital, is rose damask,

when small, earthworm pink,

N is new-leaf green.

And words: Nancy - leaves moving on a pale branch,

Nathan - a brown river in June sunshine, between grassy banks.

The morning of his service I woke in the dark.

before the limos, the motorcycles,

the wall of dark green uniforms

straining over bursting hearts.

I went to my car with a flashlight

to find the envelopes that had come on the plane.

In the living room I lined them up on a stool,

sat and waited for first light

to find me ready.

I opened three:

One - his wallet, green camo,

Two - the few cards he kept in his wallet in the field

Three - American dollars, green.

Who could spend this! What would you buy?

I thought of Alena,

flown from Europe with a set of dog tags on her white neck

and his last gift on her wrist,

a tiny silver lock and key, to his heart.

On my way I stopped at a store,

and found a pale green amethyst,

many facets, like him.

He had just enough to buy it for her.

When she put it on, I said

It's green, like the light from his eyes.

She understood.

And when the sun comes down through the aspens

to dance with the shadows on the canyon floor,

the dancing light will be like his smile.

By Linda Loree, Nathan Hornburg's mother

Remembrance Day is a day of tribute and respect to the memory of men and women who served and fell so that the world might be a better place .

It used to be a once-a-year event we would share with our families and community — a time to share with our children, so they could better know why we are so fortunate to live where we live — children who hopefully would never experience the dangers of war.

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