Monday, May 28, 2012

In Flanders Field

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.

By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD
Canadian Army

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D., “In Flanders Field,” Arlington Cemetery ( : accessed 28 May 2012).

This Memorial Day I visited two locations.

In search of  Memorial Day treasures, my first visit was to my Grandmother Meyer’s Family Bible. Dried poppies from Flanders Field were a gift from her son, Robert. Uncle Bob, a World War II veteran, visited Flanders Field in 1941 and sent this poppy home for his mother. My Grandmother preserved another flower; this one came from Korea. Her son, Paul, followed his older brother’s lead and while serving in Korea sent a Japanese Rose home to his mother. Both wartime gifts were obviously appreciated as they were saved in her Bible.

My second visit was to the gravestones my World War II Veteran Father and my Mother. My Father was a medic during World War II. He built hospitals, drew blood and retrieved the wounded throughout Europe. 

For some reason, my father never got on the American Legion Veteran list. As a result, his grave is not decorated with an American Flag. Each Memorial Day I place a flag by his gravestone. I don’t mind.

The cemetery was quiet, as usual, until I heard a single trumpet. A young man standing in the center of the cemetery was playing taps in honor of the veterans of the Town of Maine Cemetery, Park Ridge, Illinois. It was very somber moment. That sound took me back in time to my father’s funeral. I last heard taps played on a very snowy day in December, 2005. 

I must honor my other veteran ancestors of the Town of Maine Cemetery.
The Town of Maine Cemetery has a Civil War Memorial. My family and I passed by this Memorial for my entire life and never realized that Ferdinand Meyer, Civil War Veteran, was a paternal ancestor.

I must also mention my Uncle Dick Dollen. He was killed in an accidental fall while painting his ship in dry dock shortly after enlisting in the Navy. His safety harness failed.


With Gratitude For All Those Who Serve.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for posting this. I think that more people need to remember what Memorial Day is all about.