Missing Man Formation

holocaust shoes

It is difficult at best for us to deal with death. To see the void left behind. To represent the emptiness we experience at the death of another.

I still remember as a child, the riderless horse at President Kennedy’s funeral, complete with an empty pair of boots set backwards in the stirrups.

It was an attempt to make his absence known.

For Veteran’s Day there it’s the “missing man formation”: a flyover honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

We have “Eternal” flames.

And most profound is the mound of empty shoes at the Holocaust Museum.

Representing who is missing.

It sends a shiver down your spine and chokes up even the hardiest of souls.

It is our one last attempt to make the “unseeable”, “seeable”.

To honor those who went before us.

And to grieve.

With the advent of Roe &  Doe the incidence of death by abortionists skyrocketed. Those of us in prior generations had a miniscule chance of being killed by an abortionist. While those conceived after Roe & Doe had as much as a one in three (and presently in New York a one in two!) chance of being killed by an abortionist. It is a holocaust of unimaginable proportions.

We have a lot of missing people. The emptiness is all about us. But how do we see the “unseeable”?

And what of the responsibility of those who are themselves quite literally SURVIVORS of the abortion holocaust (everyone under the age of 41 in fact).

Do they not have an even greater responsibility to face down this evil?

To be the voice of their missing peers?

Perhaps the fact that year after year those who join the March for Life seem to be getting younger and younger is an indication there is a growing awareness among the survivors that they are alive because they beat the odds and dodged the abortionists curette.

And make no mistake about it, the survivors  have a unique message about this terrible bloodletting.

It was done to their peers. To their generation.

I tell my 6th PSR religion class to never let anyone silence their voice about abortion, because it was done to them; to their generation.

But how to represent those missing peers? To make visible the invisible? To represent the unimaginable void our world has experienced by their absence?

What is the “missing man formation” for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice at the hands of abortionists?

It is a statistical fact that in every school; at every assembly; at every graduation; among every group of scientists; in every packed stadium; at every family gathering; you name the occasion: untold many are missing. In fact up to a third of all those 41 and under.

They are the “missing man generation”.

Next time you’re in a crowd, you do the math: one, two, oops GONE…four, five, six, MISSING, eight, nine, DEAD….

Not such “A Wonderful Life” is it? .

We can only imagine who/what we are missing. My PSR class wondered if the cure to cancer was cut short by an abortionists curette. And they are none too kind when they talk about those who killed their peers.

How can we possibly have a graduation without some form of recognition of those who died before their time at the hands of an abortionist?

Some kind of “missing man formation”?

Some have done it, but not many.

How about every third or fourth chair among the graduates left empty? How’s that for a visual? When they call off the names, every second or third name would be read aloud as “our unknown peer”?

I’m dead serious here.


We can never even begin to fathom the loss we’ve experienced if we don’t force ourselves to “see” it. To let it “put a damper” on everything we do. To do otherwise is to betray those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to further lull ourselves to sleep in the pot that is now at a full boil.

If Donne was right, and “any man’s death diminishes me” the void among us is almost beyond comprehension. But comprehend it we must, if we are to finally bring ourselves to pay the price necessary to bring the antidote of the Gospel of Life to a nation seeped in the “culture of death.”

We have to end this madness.



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