I am terribly sappy today, for some odd reason. I was going about my morning happy for the fact that it is the Friday before a three day weekend. All of sudden it just hit me. I should not be thanking God for that, I should be thanking God for our military men and women who have given their lives for us to be free. I started looking on the internet for facts about the true meaning of Memorial Day, formerly Decoration Day. There is so much to read that I have just picked out a couple of facts to share that really touched me.
One of most amazing things happens on this weekend at Arlington National Cemetery. I would say most people know of this, I did before today, I just never really took the time to think about it. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1200 soldiers of the 3rd US Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. Think about that for a few seconds. They ensure that EACH flag doesn't fall. That amazes me. The importance placed on that and we have reduced this weekend to "the kick-off of summer" and other such sayings. I think that we should all take a few minutes this weekend to think of the importance of this occasion.
The last things I will leave with you are two poems.
In Flanders Fields
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, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
One other was written by Moina Michael in response the poem In Flanders Fields.
We cherish, too the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
The blood of heroes never dies.
Take a minute to thank God for our military or better yet, thank a soldier yourself!!