An Old Man Scatters Flowers Over Soldiers' Graves
( Originally Published 1902 )
THE Decoration Day of 1901 fell on Thursday. At our prayer-meeting service that night, an old man arose and said : " For seventy-five years I have been traveling on the Christian road and I am not tired of the journey. I regret my mistakes and sins, but rejoice in Christ's love which has been so constant, and whose arm to hold me up has been so strong. This afternoon I took some flowers to the cemetery, and scattered them over the graves of the dead soldiers; all the time that I did so, I thought of my own little boy, who was shot to death in the battle of the Wilderness, and whose body lies unmarked, down in Virginia. With his uniform, soaked in his life-blood, as his only covering, they put him, with hundreds of other dead soldiers, in a long trench, and threw a little dirt over him. I knew no one would put any flowers over his dust, unless the kind Father would allow some wild flowers to grow there. My heart seemed to fly away to the Wilderness, and to find the unknown grave; and as I scattered the flowers this afternoon, some seemed to fall on the resting-place of my little boy. He was only fourteen, and so fair and lovely and promising. I'm in my ninetieth year, and will soon be gathered to my fathers, and will meet the loved ones who have gone on before me, and I will have my little boy again, who fought and died for his country."