Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

On this day, we remember those who have died in the service of their country. From the beginning, this day started with the Union Civil War dead in 1868, first known as "Decoration Day".

After WW1, it was expanded to include the dead from all wars.

The Confederacy started their own Memorial Days ranging from April 26 to mid-June and also the blacks had their own, started on May 1st, 1865.

If you get to New Orleans, the Confederate National Hall has a very neat museum. I went there one day, while walking to the D-Day Museum about 8 blocks from our hotel. I stumbled across this gem of a museum and stopped in, spent an hour there. Well worth the time.

In 1971, the date was moved from its May 30th date to the last Monday in May.

To me, Memorial Day is the 30th of May, on my parents (and aunt/uncle's) anniversary. This would have been their 60th anniversary, 61st for my aunt & uncle.

Did you buy your poppy for today? Each year, the VFW in town sells poppies, and I buy 2 for my father and his brother, who both were in WW2.

The poppies that the VFW recall the horrible days of WW1, where poppies grew abundantly over the war-torn fields and cratered ground

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.

Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote it on 3 May 1915, after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before.

1 comment:

  1. Diane:
    Haven't been to either museum...but hope to "haunt" them for a week after I pass over.
    (I'll have all that time on my hands, anyway)

    There is indeed SO MUCH to see and before we know it, we've more time BEHIND us than in front of us...

    And you chose a wonderful poem for today.

    We're planning to PLANT some poppies (the regular ones, of course) as a way to recognizing all the vets.

    Have a great Memorial Day.