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Monday, May 30, 2011

Today is Memorial Day

For the past several days there was something that was percolating in my mind, that I've been struggling to put into words for this occasion.

In the end, I failed. For the time being, anyway. And now I see that in this instance, that my coming up short is the right thing...

Today is not a day to flex my writing skills. Today is not about "me" at all.

Today is the day that we remember those who went and fought and paid the most enormous price that there can be under the sun, so that the rest of us would not have to.

They did not go to fight for glory. They did not go to fight for fame. They did not go to fight so that their names would be immortalized in statue or song or names of great cities.

Too many of them fought and died, alone and in dark places, with only the presence of God to give them comfort and the strength to endure.

They did this, so that their children and the children of people that they could never know in this earthen realm might have just one iota of freedom more than they themselves had been able to know.

Freedom is never free. It only comes at the gravest of costs. And some gave all, so that the rest of us need only maintain the watchful vigilance of sound and grateful mind.

For my own part, the only commentary that I will proffer this day is: Dare we say that we have honored their sacrifice?

            In Flanders Fields

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.

                    -- Lieutenant Colonel John McRae,
                        Canadian Army
                        written near Ypres, Belgium
                        May 3, 1915
For those who gave everything: we remember you.


Anonymous said...

Perfect, Chris. It's perfect.