What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

11 November 2013

Happy? Not so much.

You know, we like to stick "happy" in front of commemorative days. I've no real objection to that, since I'd like everyone's days to be happy. But when I see "Happy Veterans Day" or "Happy Remembrance Day"... well, that's a bit rough. Some occasions are meant to be solemn, and words have power. Of all holidays, Remembrance Day is not one for celebration.

Thank a veteran, post pictures of your grandad in uniform on Facebook (if I had one of either of my grandfathers, I'd post them), stop and remember: absolutely, these are appropriate things for today. But please think before you say, "Happy Veteran's Day!" Is that really the sentiment you're trying to get across? If so, go ahead. If not, there are other ways to show that you believe this day to be different from most.

Because I believe this poem to be perennially appropriate, and because I fear there are many who still haven't heard it, I share it for you again. You can read more about it at the Arlington National Cemetery website.

In Flanders Fields 
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) 
Canadian Army

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.

(In case you love my Remembrance Day posts and can't get enough of them, here are some other thoughts from 2008, 2009, and 2010.)


Anonymous said...

It's a solemn day...we go about our business but it is in our minds the whole long day.

Su Wilcox said...

Yes, exactly.

Crystal Collier said...

Beautiful. Why is it so easy to forget? I love this tribute.