In my neighborhood, every day is Memorial Day.

Just outside my front door is a beautiful parkway lined on either side by 568 perfectly spaced trees.

memorial day | shorts and longs | julie rybarczyk 2At the base of each tree is a bronze cross engraved with the name of a person who meant the world to someone. A person who died too soon, far from home, as one of the brave and brutal losses of World War I.

Person after person, tree after tree, continuing on for four miles.

The servicemen and nurses honored here were from my county alone. This drive was created to remember them, to honor their valor, and to celebrate the new life that can grow out of deep loss and sacrifice.

Most of the homes around here were built after the memorial went up. People hunkered down, came together, rebuilt, moved forward. And thrived.

On days like today,

my neighborhood gets a lot of visitors.




And, if they’re like me, also wondering.

What if these lives had lasted just a little bit longer?

And what can possibly be my response to a sacrifice like this?

memorial day | shorts and longs | julie rybarczyk 4

Here’s to remembering those who are gone, and also those who are left behind grieving, friends. xo

P.S. Two of my favorite Memorial Day posts from the archives are here and here.

P.P.S. Do you see the silhouettes of the servicemen in the final photo above?