Memorial Day, for many Americans, marks the official start of summer. It’s a time to fire up the grill, put the boat in the water and gather together with friends and family. Businesses may use it as a time to have a sale and boost traffic to their store. It’s also a much needed, three day weekend for many a weary worker.
However, for some, it is the sorrowful reminder of the end. It marks a day of remembrance for the widow who clutched a flag, neatly folded as she wept beside a grave. The sharp cracks of a rifle salute will echo in her memory come the end of every May. It is the grief and sorrow that resides in the heart of the Gold Star Mother who, with trembling hands, hangs the red, white and blue bunting along her porch. It is her sadness that, over the years, turns to a solemn pride accompanied by a prayer that future mothers will never know the weight of such a sacrifice. It is the rows of marble gravestones that adorn far too many fields both here and abroad that should serve as bitter reminders of the cost of war. It is the paper poppy pinned to the faded lapel of the veteran who raises his weathered hand in salute as Old Glory is hoisted high, then lowered to half-staff. Only the hint of a tear in his eye tells of a toll and a debt that none of us will ever be able to repay.
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.
Lt. Colonel John McCrae
This blog is in remembrance of those who have served & sacrificed their lives for our country.
Rob D. | Green Oasis | Marine Corps Veteran