A Memorial Moment to Remember

It was a small town.  Mark was taking his young son, Timmy, to watch trains at the old train depot.  It was what they enjoyed doing.  They would sit on one of the old benches and watch the trains as they rolled on by.  No matter what time of the day they got out there whenever they could.  It was the same thing every time, and they never got tired of it.

One day would change them forever.

It was morning on a very sunny day.  Mark and Timmy were approaching the old depot as they normally did, and they saw an elderly couple sitting on the same bench that they normally sat on.

“Do you think they are here to watch the trains with us?”  Timmy was very excited.

“I don’t know,” Mark said.  “We’ll just sit on the next bench.”

They came upon the couple.

“Good morning,” the man bellowed out.

“Hi.”  Timmy waved at them.  “Are you here to watch the trains with us?”

“Trains!”  The man was very excited.  “I love trains.  Do you love trains?”

“I love trains too,” Timmy said with much glee.

“Oh,” Mark giggled, “he really loves trains.  I have a hard time getting him to leave.”

“You must not be from around here,” Mark said to them.  “We know everyone in town.”

“Oh,” said the woman.  “We are from Varsburg.”

“Varsburg?”  Mark was curious.  “That’s fifty miles away.  You must be a traveling couple.”

She looked at Timmy and then at Mark.  “This old depot is as special to us as it is to you and your boy.”

“I am glad to hear that,” Mark said.  “There is so much history to this place.  I hope that it can be restored somehow.”

“I use to bring my boy here to watch trains,” the man said.  “He was always sad that we did not have trains in Varsburg.  He always looked forward to coming here.  He was about as old as your boy is now.  Every few weeks we came to this town.  We did not sit on the bench.  We stood up and watched the trains.”

“So do you still get together to watch trains?”  Mark asked.

The woman began to cry.

“I’m sorry,” Mark was very concerned.  “I didn’t …”

“Don’t be,” the man interrupted.  “It is just that this is an anniversary for us.”

“How long have you been married?”

“Fifty two years,” the woman said as she wept, “but our wedding anniversary was three months ago.  We did come here from time to time to watch the trains with our son, Fred, but forty years ago today, we saw him for the last time.”

Mark became very shaky.  “What happened to him?”

“We brought our son here for the last time,” the man continued on.  “He was going off to fight a war.  We never saw him again.”

Mark was overcome with sadness.  He looked at Timmy and began to be concerned.

“I am very grateful for your son,” he shivered out.

“We will always be proud of him,” the woman said.  “He was a great soldier who served his country well.”

“Would you like to watch trains with us?”  Timmy asked.

They looked at each other.  “We would love to sit and watch trains with you.”

Mark and Timmy sat on the bench next to the couple.  The sound of the bells of the nearby crossing gates were ringing loud as the gates went down.

“Here it comes,” Timmy shouted.

They all sat together as the train rolled by.

This article is a tribute to the men and women who gave their lives so that we could live ours and to the loved ones who must continue on without them.  May we remember those sacrifices this Memorial Day?  They sacrificed their lives to protect our land and, most important of all, our favorite spot to watch those trains roll by.


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