Monday, May 25, 2015

Let's Pause for a Few Minutes to Remember Those Who Died to Preserve Our Freedom

A Flanders Poppy from My Garden, © B. Radisavljevic
Today is Memorial Day here in the United States. It's a day not only to remember well-known fallen heroes, but also to remember every man and woman not so well known who made the ultimate sacrifice. Each of them left a hole in this world and in the worlds of those who loved them. Whether you attend a formal Memorial Day Service or not, pause in your day to remember those who fought and died so that you could continue to live a life with liberty to make your own decisions, worship as you wish,  and speak freely about what's important to you.

For me it will be a time to pause and pray that these men and women, especially those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, will not have died in vain. It's a time to  pray for those who lead this country, that they may be wise enough to accept good advice and to tell good advice from bad advice, and that they may be brave enough to do what is right instead of what is politically expedient. I will pray for those who serve today and tomorrow, that they may not be treated as pawns in an international chess game, but that our leaders will care as much about them as they do about their own children and act accordingly.

I would also like to share these thoughts posted by an online friend who is a Veteran: Memorial Day Significance Has Been Forgotten.

The Flanders poppy in my photo blooms each year before Memorial Day and reminds me of this very fitting poem written by John McCrae, published after World War II,  now in the public domain.

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.  
You may also want to see my post on the Faces of Freedom Memorial.