Friday, May 27, 2011

In Remembrance....

My father was the consummate "proud American". He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and flew the flag outside our house on all three "American" holidays; Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veteran's Day. He also marched in all the parades for as long as I can remember. I still have his hats and sashes. And I can still see his smiling face as he marched among his comrades with pride and honor.

I remember the red poppies we all wore each Memorial Day. My dad would give us each a dollar and we'd go to the table where some man with missing limbs would graciously take our donations and give us a poppy. I didn't know it then, nor did my dad ever tell us why, but there is a story behind those red poppies. Apparently, a poet named John McCrae wrote this and the a tradition was born. (There are various other stories behind the red poppy, dating all the way back to the Egyptians, some 3000 years ago. But for now, this one seems most appropriate.) The poem reads:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place 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. all who may run across those Veterans with their red poppies, I pray you will extend your kindness and wear it to honor all those who fell so we could sleep in peace.

I miss you, Daddy.
I love you still.

Happy and safe Memorial Day to all.

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