Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - Decoration Day 2011

 Memorial Day.  Monday, May 30, 2011
In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915. 
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. 

In response to John McCrea's poem, Moina Michael wrote:
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

After reading this poem, you might have a better understanding of why veterans each year sell those red plastic poppies in an effort to raise money for veteran's groups around Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.  

For so many of us, Memorial Day is a day off from school or work.  We go to barbecues and take advantage of Memorial Day sales.  Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of summer.  I think we've forgotten the real meaning of the day.

Memorial Day is not a happy day.  It is a somber occasion to remember those who have given their lives for our country.  For those who have lost loved ones in war or who have loved ones currently deployed overseas they will tell you this is not a day of celebration.  This is a day of remembering sacrifice.  The day was originally called Decoration Day and began in the Civil War era when the graves of those who died in action were decorated with wreaths.

I hope we'll all take a minute to remember.  To be grateful for the blessings of liberty we enjoy and recognize the price paid for that liberty.  Please take a minute to reflect on and respect the sacrifice of all that some have made for all of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment