Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

In an hour I'll be going to work. Our honor guard has been invited by our local VFW to participate with them in a Memorial Day ceremony at our veteran's memorial. It is an honor.

One of the vets mentioned, candidly, that many of their members are getting too old to carry rifles or flags, and march. There are fewer of them, and it doesn't seem like veterans of the current conflict, or the Gulf War, have joined groups like the VFW at the rates that WWII and Korea vets did. Anyway, like I said, it's an honor. The VFW will present the colors, and our police honor guard will fire a rifle salute.

I'm always deeply moved, and mournful, on Memorial Day. I wish I were better with words; maybe then I could successfully convey the depth of my gratitude to our veterans, and the sense of loss we should all feel on a day like today. The Department of Defense, so far, has confirmed 3,441 deaths of American service men and women as I write this. There are 14 more reported deaths pending Department of Defense Confirmation.

This is what I wrote last year:

Memorial Day is there for a reason

I'll end this post the same way I ended that one:

I'll fight the urge to make an angry political statement here, and just ask that anyone who reads this spend a quiet moment, or say a short prayer, for the families and friends of the people who've given their lives for us.

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.

By John McCrae


Tenacious S said...

Thanks, Bubs. Your words were a fitting tribute to those we should remember on this day.

Johnny Yen said...

Beautifully stated, Bubs. It's especially important this year to remember those who've served and especially those who've given all for us.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thank you for writing this. Although in Canada we remember those who made sacrifices for us on Remembrance Day in November, I believe it is so important to be grateful and touched by their selflessness year-round.

And there are less and less veterans whom we can thank each year. Thank you for helping to honour them today.

Dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dale said...

Wonderful tribute Bubs.

As Barbara mentioned, here we have Remembrance Day. All of our school events around that day included John McRae's poem and it was always moving.

Coincidentally, I went to school with a relative of his.