May 31, 2010

in memoriam

Memorial Day 2010 in our Small Town. The American Legion and the VFW sponsors a ceremony at the flagpole of the local cemetery. The Stars and Stripes on the main flagpole flies at half staff. A woman from a large city in our state reads from the diary of her late father who was in the battle of Okinawa during World War II. A World War II Navy veteran who is present is recognized for his time as a prisoner of war. The town band plays patriotic songs. The Ladies Auxilary lays flowers under the pole. A local pastor prays publicly in Jesus's name, thanking the Lord for our freedom and the brave men and women who have laid down their lives for it ever since 1776. Three volleys are fired. Taps is played.
My heart and tears say Thank you! Thank you! to those who died after defending freedom and while defending our freedom. War is ugly and should not be desired, but it is necessary sometimes. When I lived in Kansas City (I even saw it on a car at the cemetery today!), I would often see a bumper sticker that says War Is Not The Answer. That is soooo wrong. If it wasn't for war, then the Nazis would be ruling the world right now. The Muslim terrorists currently trying to rule the world do not stop their horrors when we simply dialogue and ask them to.
Sometimes war is the answer. It is necessary to defend oneself and one's country. Freedom is not free. Thank you, grandpa, Pvt. Long, and all the others...I remember often your duty, your sacrifice, your desire to keep freedom intact. May the rest of us be as brave.
In Flanders Fields

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.
-- John McCrae

America's Answer

Rest ye in peace, ye Flanders dead.
The fight that ye so bravely led
We've taken up. And we will keep
True faith with you who lie asleep
With each a cross to mark his bed,
In Flanders fields.
Fear not that ye have died for naught.
The torch ye threw to us we caught.
Ten million hands will hold it high,
And Freedom's light shall never die!
We've learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders fields.
-- R. W. Lilliard

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