This writing is in memory and in honor of all of those men and women who have served our country and given the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom.
Every man must die, but only a few really live. We cannot evade death because it will eventually come; but how we choose to live our lives makes a difference every day. How many of us have the courage to truly live. How many of us seize the day? Make the most out of every minute of our life; so that we can impact and make a difference in someone else’s life. I believe that our country was founded by people who had the courage to live. They believed with their whole being in liberty and justice for all. They had a dream and vision for what they wanted for our country. Patrick Henry stated it best when he said, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death”!
It was December of 1915; France, Britain, and Russia were struggling in their fight against the German Empire. A Canadian poet, John McCrae stood by as he watched the steady onward march of the enemy, and the almost hopeless heroism of his comrades to stay the German pressure. They were marching towards certain death and yet they courageously marched forward – fighting for their freedom and that of their countries. After watching this John, sat by the bedside of his dying friend, who had been wounded in battle; he then went on to write,
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.
Love and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up your 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.
Flanders Fields is now a U.S. Military cemetery in Belgium. Buried in this cemetery are the bodies of 368 members of the U.S. armed forces who died in WWI.
This poem is considered by many to be one of the most inspirational of it’s time. It was read from thousands of platforms in France and Britain to recruit more troops and to rally the spirits of existing troops. Once the U.S. decided to enter the war, the poem was read to encourage our troops as well.
When I look at the second verse…… “We are the dead, short days ago we lived…..” These men were willing to look death in the face and bravely they continued to march forward. They realized that they may not see their loved ones again here on earth and that their young lives would all too quickly end. That they might lose their ability to get up in the morning and thank God for another day. They died so that we might live another day in freedom.
Let us remember with honor today and every day all of the men and women that gave their lives for our country from Revolutionary War to the current war on terrorism. We have been given a precious gift to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
God is nigh.
Go to sleep,
May the soldier
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.
Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
To their rest.
Fades the light;
And the stars
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.
Thanks and praise,
For our days,
‘Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.