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
– By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium
When I was a child, I remember walking around my grandma’s small town with her and my sister selling paper poppies for a donation to the American Legion Auxiliary. I always had a wonderful experience talking with people and being with my grandma. However, I didn’t understand the impact of the act of asking a person to buy a poppy. Looking back, I remember how sometimes voices would get softer or hands would tremble as they retrieved money from their billfolds. Were they thinking about their own experiences in the Armed Services? Were they remembering a friend or family member that never came back?
The popular phrase is that freedom isn’t free. There are right. It is paid for by the blood, sweat, tears, and time of millions of Americans going back to the first person to give his life in the American Revolution. Today, we honor all of those that went before us and made the path for our freedom and all of those that still fight today to keep it. I encourage each of you to attend the Memorial Day service being held in your community. The services usually are not long and you will have the chance to remember and recognize the heroes from your area.
Thank you to all who have served or are serving for our country.
Thank you to all the families of these amazing heroes
Thank you to all those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. We remember you.
May God bless you all. May God bless America!