Have a happy, and thoughtful, Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a particularly special day for those who have served; it is an opportunity to remember those who have given so much to protect our shared way of life.  America is truly the greatest nation on Earth, and it remains so only because of the selfless sacrifice of those willing to give their lives in its defense.

So have a great Memorial Day, but take a moment to reflect and remember why we all have this Monday off from work and school.  To have sworn an oath to protect and defend the United states and to wear the cloth of the nation is to personally and viscerally feel the loss of those who will never return.  It is for them that this day is honored.

Below is one of my favorite poems.  It honors fallen soldiers from the First World War, but its message transcends the near-century since it was penned by a Canadian Officer, Lieutenant Colonel John McRae in 1915.   McRae himself fell some three years later, scant months before the war’s end:

In Flanders Field

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. 

John McCrae


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