It is always darkest just before the day dawneth.
We've all heard some version of that aphorism. It's often attributed to the 17th Century historian and theologian Thomas Fuller, though he never claimed to be the source. I've heard that it actually comes from Irish or Scottish folk wisdom--depending, of course, on whether you talk to an Irish or Scottish person!
In any event, there is, I believe, a parallel: The trees are barest just before spring.
And, perhaps, the snow seems iciest when it's about to melt away.
Whatever the reality, a memorial to those who died in war is always bleak, and any attempts to soften the reality that the commemorated folks are dead, and usually for no good reason, only makes it more so.
But it was still a lovely day, and ride the other day. The roads were clear, but, seemingly on cue, snow banked the sides of the roads as soon as I crossed the state line.