Friday, May 22, 2009
We Remember You! - Memorial Day 2009
The true reason for Memorial Day is oftentimes forgotten as families indulge themselves with an extra day at the beach or a barbecue with friends. But President Barack Obama is hoping to change that this year with the National Moment of Remembrance, which he hopes will become a new American tradition. At 3 p.m. Monday, Americans everywhere are asked to stop what we are doing and reflect on the sacrifices made for the freedoms that we now enjoy. In Flanders field 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 with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. ~Major John McCrae, May 1915.~ Miss Moina Belle Michael, an American War Secretary with the YMCA and herself a writer of verse, on Nov. 9, 1918, the Saturday before the Armistice was signed, read Col. John McCrae’s poem "In Flanders Fields" and it made such a impression on her, that she wrote this poem in reply to it: Oh! You who sleep in Flanders’ fields, Sleep sweet - to rise anew, We caught the torch you threw, And holding high we kept The faith with those who died. We cherish too, the poppy red That grows on fields where valour led. It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies, But lends a lustre to the red Of the flower that blooms above the dead In Flanders’ fields. And now the torch and poppy red Wear in honour of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught In Flanders’ fields. Written by Miss Moina Belle Michael Please, allow me to share with you pictures of 20 American Cemeteries in Europe (including Flanders Field) where our fallen Soldiers lie (in numbers): 1) Aisne-Marne, France (2,289) 2) Ardennes, Belgium (5,329) 3) Brittany, France (4,410) 4) Brookwood, England (468) 5) Cambridge, England (3,812) 6) Epinal, France (5,525) 7) Flanders Field, Belgium (368) 8) Florence, Italy (4,402) 9) Henri-Chapelle, Belgium (7,992) 10) Lorraine, France (10,489) 11) Luxembourg, Luxembourg (5,076) 12) Meuse-Argonne, France (14,246) 13) Netherlands, Netherlands (8,301) 14) Normandy, France (9,387) 15) Oise-Aisne, France (6,012) 16) Rhone, France (861) 17) Sicily, Italy (7,861) 18) Somme, France (1,844) 19) St. Mihiel, France (4,153) 20) Suresnes, France (1,541) ...YOU DO THE MATH! As you know, Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. "Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan." General John A. Logan in his General Order No. 11 of May 5th, 1868, Decoration Day! Read the notes and lyrics to this old timey song called Kneel Where Our Loves Are Sleeping by clicking the link.