Monday, May 25, 2015

On Memorial Day

"In our effort to accommodate many Americans by making the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, we have lost sight of the significance of this day to our nation. Instead of using Memorial Day as a time to honor and reflect on the sacrifices made by Americans in defense of freedom, many Americans use the day as a celebration of the beginning of summer."  —  Purple Heart Recipient and Former United States Senator Daniel Inouye
Flanders Field American Military Cemetery - Waregem Belgium, Near My Childhood Home

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.

Written by Major John McCrae, - 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery - May 1915.

This weekend, the school children of Waregem and nearby Mons will turn Flanders Cemetery into a sea of color; of Red poppy flowers and American and Belgian Flags just as they have for more than 90 years. On the door to the Flanders Field Chapel are written but three words: "Lest We Forget".  

We need not forget as well.......