Memorial Day

It’s that time of year to officially remember those who fought and died in war–and to honor those still with us. When I was a kid we sold poppies to raise money for veterans. There was also an assembly with a speaker; the school band played. The names of those from the town who died in war were read. Then we marched up to cemetery hill (actually, we straggled; it was a big hill) and played a patriotic song or two. My dad read the following poem and ‘Taps’ was played. Small towns remember.

This poem was written by Lt. Colonel (Leftenat is the correct pronunciation my Canadian friends tell me) John McCrae, a member of the first Canadian contingent. He died in France on January 28, 1918 after four years of service on the western front. I guess this poem is a sort of immortality.

In Flanders Field

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.



About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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