Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I hope we will all take time this Memorial Day to pause and observe what this day is really all about. It's not just for bar-b-ques and get togethers although that is part of long held traditions that mark this day. It is to honor those who have given their lives to preserve our liberty and freedom. And thank God for these men and women, because they have one of the hardest jobs in the world. I stand in awe of you, because I could never do what you do. Thank you to all the families of these wonderful men and women whom serve our country, because you too sacrifice so much for each and everyone of us.

A tradition observed on Memorial Day since it's conception is the decorating of the graves of our fallen soldiers. In fact it was first called Decoration Day before the name was officially changed to Memorial Day.

I have never visited a cemetary on Memorial day, or decorated a grave. I would like to take my children to visit my daddy's grave in a few years when they are a little older, and the significance would have more meaning to them.

One of the traditions of Memorial day I was surprised to learn about is wearing a red poppy flower. I think that is a lovely tradition that needs to be brought back. It was a tradition started by Moina Michael and inspired by the following:

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 1915, inspired by the poem “ In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

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.

So very moving, if you let it in. I hope we will. And I hope we will pause to take a few moments to remember, and be thankful. ~Blessings.

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