“In Flanders fields where poppies blow…..Between the crosses, row on row.”
In Flanders Fields. A famous poem born in the early stages of World War I. Its author Lt. Col. John Mc Crae.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering those who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The holiday had its beginnings around the time of the Civil War.
I had the opportunity to visit Arlington Cemetery. Most buried are war dead. A moving sight. One never forgotten. Especially comes to memory on a day such as this.
Many years ago, I spent a month with my family in Italy. Our villa was on the Mediterranean in a small town called Livonia. Just outside Salerno where the Allied troops landed in World War II.
I was driving around and came across the British cemetery. Set up just like Arlington Cemetery. White crosses. Row after row in perfect line.
I walked among them. Read the names of those buried. Suddenly, I came upon a series of graves marked Known To God Alone. Broke me up. I started sobbing uncontrollably.
I am still not right. A bit better each day. Significantly better since last tuesday when I woke with a very painful stomach. Being down has caused me to miss a few annual Key West events this holiday weekend.
One is the Minimal Regatta. Crazy people in home made boats! Material to be used is restricted. Only one 4′ x 8′ plywood sheet, 1 pound of fasteners, and 1 roll of duct tape. Many start the race. Few finish. The boats fall apart.
The race is in front of Schooner Wharf. Hundreds line the waterfront watching, cheering and laughing.
A fun afternoon. Watch the race, drink a bit and enjoy the comradeship of those around you. Typical Key West.
The weather is high 80s by day and high 70s in the evening. Humidity has arrived. Not so bad yet. Wait till August and September!
Same sex marriage a big winner in Ireland! The Irish know what they are doing.
Approval was by vote. Sixty two percent voted to permit same sex marriage. It is the first time a nation has voted on the issue.
I am debating whether to shave. I have the start of a beard. Looks horrible at the moment. My neck itches. Decision time today.
Enjoy your Memorial Day! Remember why it is celebrated!
RE: Flander’s Field
Best way to honor the military — past and present — is to bring the girls and boys home NOW until the American people figure out what’s important enough to sacrifice them for!
Dona Nobis Pacem
John McCrae was of course a Canadian soldier. A medical doctor and an Artillery man who graduated from my Alma Matter The University of Toronto. Did not make it home from the war and is buried in Boulogne-sur-Mer France, after he passed away from TB in 1918 at the age of 45.
Although he did work in America, as a Professor of Pathology at the University of Vermont in 1911. He also served at numerous hospitals in Ontario and Quebec and even served as the expedition physician for a 1910 canoe trip exploring Hudson Bay under the command of Lord Grey, the Governor General of Canada and also served as a doctor in the Boer War. The man got around.
But agree we need to bring our young people (US/Canadian/British/all of them),home from these engagements that seem to be unending and offer few results for the human costs being incurred.