Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day

Five years ago I remembered Veterans Day in this manner.
The name is different in Commonwealth countries, but the thought is the same.
Each year we remember all of those who serve their country, 
and we appreciate their service.

Who will you remember this Remembrance Day? The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month? Will you wear a poppy and know why?

November 11 is set aside to remember those who offered their lives to keep their country safe. Originally set aside to remember that war to end war (which it quite obviously did not) and dedicated to peace, it was expanded in the United States to include all veterans. Those citizens who care enough for their country and fellowman to provide protection.

In 2009, in 
Bakersfield, California, residents both remembered and honored such men this year. Proof that such citizens are not without friends, though they may die alone. Not as casualties of war, for their services spent were in Korea and Viet Nam. Those who honored them, though they did not know the men, attended their final services.

I cannot imagine an American family without a family member serving their county in our military. Self, husband, father, uncle, brother, son, wife, mother, daughter, aunt, grand-child, a plethora of in-laws. Think of them. Can you name them? Name the branches of service? Think of poppies?

The poppies come from a Canadian’s poem:

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.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

An American responded in verse:

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,

Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

— Moina Michael (1869-1944)

Who do you remember this Remembrance Day? If they are near, thank them. If they are not, find a veteran and thank them. If you cannot find one, try my husband, my brothers-in-law, my son-in-law, my grandson, dozens of friends. Just contact me – I’ll give you a list. They must be your friends, for Christ tells us:

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 KJV)

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