Memorial Day

Yesterday I overheard someone saying “Happy Memorial Day!” It struck me as a little odd.  I wondered if someone had slept through civics (or history) class.

The holiday we know as Memorial Day reflects a centuries-old tradition of honoring those who died in war.  In the United States, “Decoration Day” began in the years after the US Civil War.  After World War I, the recogntions were expanded to honor all Americans who fought and died for their country.

I wore my Memorial Day poppy this weekend.  A few people recognized its significance.  At church I sang “In Flanders Fields,”a musical setting of the poem written during World War I:

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 Lt. Col. John McCrae (Canadian Army)

Read about the writing of this poem here:                                 http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm

and learn more about the history of Memorial Day here:
https://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.aspArlington blog copy

I hope you’re spending a relaxing day with family today, and ask that you join in our national moment of prayer at 3 PM (your local time).

For our military readers…thank you. God bless you and we pray for your safe return home.

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