Memorial Day is humbling. It is a day set aside to remember the men and women who have died serving our country. That humbles me. I cannot fathom going to war. . .being on the front lines. . .risking my life for a country. It is humbling.
Memorial Day was first declared in 1868. On www.usmemorialday.org, I read this quote and it sums up my feelings as I decided to write this post: "Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all."
As I am humbled by Memorial Day, I often get frustrated. I feel like we aren't really proud to be Americans anymore. I feel like politics and wars have made us less proud and that makes me sad. I remember the patriotic feeling after 9/11 and I remember loving that feeling. Now I feel like we have gone back to politics. It seems like we are less happy to be Americans if the person we want to be president isn't in office. Or we are less proud to be Americans if we don't agree with whatever war we are involved in. I feel like we have become less patriotic because we are so divided along party lines and that makes me sad.
So many people served our country and gave their lives so that we could be proud to be Americans! I am a sucker for Lee Greenwood and "Proud to Be An American" and Toby Keith "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue." I love being patriotic! I miss that overwhelming feeling that swept the country ten years ago!
I am so proud of the men in my life that have served our country. My "Pappy" severed on the USS Copahee in WWII. My mom's dad died in service to our country and her step-father, my "CC" was shot down over Germany in WWII. I am proud of them! I am proud of my friends who have served and who are currently serving. I am proud of the many soldiers I do not know who are serving. I am proud of the families at home who are waiting for their soldier to come home. And my heart breaks for those families who know that their soldier won't ever be coming home.
In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915.
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.