Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

Today is the day in which we honor those Americans who have made the supreme sacrifice on their nation's behalf. Even though written by Canadian Doctor John McRae in 1915, I can think of no other words that convey the true meaning of this day:

In Flanders Fields

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 the poem, it was the loss of huge numbers of Belgian, French, and British soldiers on the battlefields of World War I that Dr. McRae was speaking so elequently of. But I believe that his lines enduringly speak to the universality of war and its human costs.

See more about the red poppies that grew then (and now) in Flanders fields here.

To see what price Iraq's Fields thus far,
click here.
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