Monday, May 25, 2015

Thanks from a Grateful Nation

My father's grave is freshly decorated with an American flag in honor of his service to our great nation. Dad was an World War II army medic in the European Theatre. He assembled field hospitals, carried the wounded and drew blood from patients. I suspect he may have carried for the dead as well. Dad survived the war, as did his three older brothers. Thankfully, the Meyer boys all went on to lead good, long lives.

Dad passed away on 5 December 2005. His funeral was a cold, snowy one. We had record snowfall the night of his memorial service. I remember my shivering mother as she received the carefully and ceremoniously folded flag that draped his casket with the words of thanks from "A Grateful Nation."

We live in "A Grateful Nation" had today honors veterans of all wars. I think about the boys that sacrificed their lives for something bigger than themselves: The United States of America. I think of the boys who survived. They sacrificed their youth and in most recent wars, their future as a result of missing limbs and traumatic brain injuries. I feel sad for the daily struggles of those young men and their families.

Today I shed tears at Dad's grave. Tears for him but tears for all who died and all who live on.

Forever grateful,


Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

We have had a very cool spring and my thoughts for this Memorial Day weekend revolve around getting in the garden. Our weather report tells me I may have one day to achieve my goal. Memorial Day weekend, in my neck of the woods, tends to be a rainy event. Maybe it represents tears for all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for me and for you. 

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).