31 May 2011

"Between the Crosses, Row on Row"

I guess I should have talked about Memorial Day yesterday. My bad.

(thank you, Wikipedia)

The symbol of Memorial Day, as well as the Canadian 'Remembrance Day' (and our Veteran's Day) is the red poppy. Has been since Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a doctor in the Canadian military, penned his poem 'In Flanders Fields' in 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.

This has been one of my all-time favorite poems for several years. Incidentally, John McCrae also has a whole bevy of other poems no one ever talks about. And several of the are very good. Just sayin'.

Somehow the Schaffer family, along with most of the American people, didn't really think about all this yesterday. Instead, Memorial Day meant a three-day weekend. Which was fun.

We had a barbecue on Saturday with a set of grandparents, so yesterday was just us. It was rainy. Very rainy. We had breakfast at noon. We sat there waiting for the city to completely submerge. The kids took advantage of the one sunny hour in the afternoon to go to the park; don't ask me why, because the place must have been pretty soggy. I have the bruises to prove that I completely pwned Princess and Short Stuff at bloody knuckles. It was a pretty good day, all in all.

Love always,
P.S. --Today is Tuesday. Tuesday is my favorite day of the week.

1 comment:

Cody said...

A guy used that in a talk over the pulpit that Sunday... Sad poems... Reminds me of this one: (about WWI)

Parable of the Old Man and the Young
So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,and builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.
~ (Yes, that's right a _tilde_ not a normal dash) Wilfred Owen

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