Red Poppy

On the Soapbox: Remembering and Respect


Red PoppyI don’t remember the first time I ever heard this poem recited at our local Memorial Day Services in Goshen, IN, but for as long as I can remember, it has always had an impact on me.

It helped me to understand the sacrifices that many people I didn’t know made for me and my family.

After hearing this read in a cemetery filled with American flags and bronze plaques, I realized why my grandfathers wept with quiet dignity when they thought nobody could see them.

I copied these words from a long worn piece of paper that was handed out one year at one of those services.

Today, as I’ve written about before, is not a day of celebration or of the living. It is about somber, quiet reflection to be filled with respect and honor for those military, (not public servants as is so often nowadays thrown in, or currently serving military personnel-Armed Forces Day, or about Veteran military service personnel-Veterans Day, or about celebrating our freedom-Fourth of July ), that lost their lives while in YOUR service.

I truly hope that you will read it and not consider it trivial, but understand what the words mean. Allow them to impact you. Realize how lucky you are and remember how many men and women died for the freedom many of us so often take for granted.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

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.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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