Memorial Day

R.I.P.  Sean

Never above you, never below you, always beside you.


Marine Sgt. Sean T. Callahan, whose remains rest in the casket above, was killed by an IED in Afghanistan two years ago. My son was in the same battalion and really liked Sean for his quick wit and straightforward sensibility.  I came to know Sean’s parents that year as our small group of Marine Moms and Dads supported each other through the long days and nights of our sons’ deployment.

As Sean’s father said the other day, Memorial Day is not just about beaches, BBQ’s and beer. Before he lost his son that idea was lost on him, as it probably is on most of us.  If you don’t take a moment today to remember, do it soon. And don’t forget all the men and women who have suffered and are living with serious physical and mental injuries as a consequence of their involvement in this war.


This week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge, “In the Background”  is to take a photograph of yourself or another person, putting the emphasis of the image on a different area, not on the person.  This photo, which I took two years ago during Sean’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, is my response to the photo challenge.

It also serves as a reminder of what Memorial Day was intended to signify.   The young Marine in the foreground was part of the Honor Guard on that difficult day. What was he thinking?

More responses to this weeks photo challenge can be seen here.


    • I know. I’m sorry – and I know you are not asking for sympathy, but rather reminding us that every situation is unique, and we need to be aware of one another’s suffering.


  1. Wow! Brings back powerful memories and thoughts to furrylittlegnome – especially during the Memorial Day weekend. A family member survived a mortar attack on May 25, 2004 at FOB Kalsu in Iraq where others in the squad did not.


  2. For every young Marine, military person, I have always had the one wish that they become old soldiers. My best wishes to you and your family and to Sean’s family with the heartbreak that is every day . . . .


    • Old soldiers – I love that. At the funeral there were several old soldiers – quite old – it seemed they didn’t know Sean, but came regularly to funerals at Arlington. I really was moved seeing them salute as the casket was steadied onto the caisson. Sean’s family is incredibly strong. They’re great people and have good support from many corners, but they do not have their son. Don’t get me started on war…


  3. A beautiful tribute to a fallen soldier, Lynn, and a great reminder to all of us as to what Memorial Day is really all about. A great choice for the challenge too. You really wrapped everything together nicely. 🙂


  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background | Ryan Photography

  5. A heartfelt post Lynn. We lived in Afghanistan for two years and in that time felt the nearness of the loss of friends known to us and those we only knew by name. Yet, the immensity of such moments is never lost. Thank you for this tender remembrance. Sharon


  6. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background | From the 90's

  7. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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