Memorial Day in the US signals the start of summer. BBQ grills are cleaned up and made ready for the annual cookout, pools are open and the paper is filled with advertisements enticing shoppers to purchase their items at huge discounts.
Memorial Day to me is about honoring our service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice to our country. Rolling Thunder can be heard on the streets as they make their way downtown, their big motorcycles ridden by young and old veterans sporting red, white and blue, remind me that it’s May and Memorial Day is upon us. Paper poppy flowers are handed out by the American Legion with the poem below that bring tears to my eyes as I remember those who have served and died four our country. We’ve made it an annual tradition to stop by the Vietnam Memorial on Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day and visit the BG’s cousin whose name is on the wall.
“In Flanders Fields” by Major 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, through poppies grow
In Flanders fields.