An Idaho field will resemble Arlington National Cemetery.  Even if only for a few days.  It’s called the Field of Heroes.  It’s at Century High School in Pocatello.  It honors thousands of America’s war dead since September 11th, 2001.  Volunteers place markers with the name of every fallen member of our armed forces.

People come from across the country to view the field.  National TV networks have visited. 

Memorial Day weekend isn’t a celebratory holiday.  It’s commemorative and contemplative.

A few years ago I rose early on a Saturday morning and made the drive.  I arrived as one of the day’s first visitors.  There was still dew on the grass as I walked silently through the rows.  Seeing the sea of crosses and stars you can get an emotional response.  It was very much the case for me when I found the name of one young man from my home county.  He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.  His mother and my sister work together and are friends.

I took pictures and quickly texted home.

All of these names had families.  Memorial Day weekend isn’t a celebratory holiday.  It’s commemorative and contemplative.  The Field of Heroes is a monument, even if only temporary, to the last fill measure of devotion.