Thinking about Memorial Day

We are a week away from the day that is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.  And in the rush to get kids out of school and summer vacations started, we sometimes forget what Memorial Day is all about. 

Memorial Day commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day. It is especially important to remember and pay tribute to the men and women who gave their full measure of devotion in service to their country. 

Even if visiting Arlington National Cemetery is not an option, you can still show your respect by flying the flag of the United States at half staff from dawn until noon and placing a flag at the graveside of a Soldier in a National Cemetery near you.

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A close friend of mine always reminded me of the ultimate sacrifices made by men and women in uniform by reprinting each year a poem by a Canadian military doctor and artillery commander, Major John McCrae.

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