Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day 2009

Honoring all who served and are now serving!

Edgar Guest

The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die, To face the flaming cannon's mouth nor ever question why, Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red, The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed,The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall: 'Tis these that make a soldier great. He's fighting for them all.

'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave;

'Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave;

For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam

As when behind the cause they see the little place called home.

Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run,

You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.

What is it through the battle smoke the valiant soldier sees?

The little garden far away, the budding apple trees,

The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play,

Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray.

The golden thread of courage isn't linked to castle dome

But to the spot, where'er it be — the humblest spot called home.

And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely there

And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air;

The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green,

And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been.
He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call,

And only death can stop him now — he's fighting for them all.

The Poppy

During the Napoleonic wars, it was observed that the fields were bright with colorful red poppies before a battle. Strangely enough, it was discovered that the bombardment of these fields helped the poppy to grow! John McCrae's poem (IN FLANDER'S FIELD) became popular in 1915 and by 1918, Moina Michael began to weave poppies in remembrance of those who had died in WWI while working at the YMCA canteen. Madame Guerin learned of this in 1920 when she visited in New York from France. On her return home, she began making poppies to earn money for the children of veterans and the worn torn Europe. The USA tends to wear poppies on Memorial Day while other countries (e.g., Canada, etc.) wear them in November.
In Flanders Field
by Captain John D. McCrae

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.

J. D. Longstreet



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