Happy Veterans Day!
Thank you to all of our brothers and sisters in arms and their families for the ultimate sacrifice of protecting not only our country, but also our freedom. We can never thank you enough for your dedication and service, and are eternally grateful.
Where Have All the Poppies Gone?
There were so few poppies in evidence this Veterans Day one wonders if, somehow, this much loved and most important holiday has lost its cherished bright red emblem in our part of the world.
This small, simple symbol of our gratitude and high regard for those who bravely defend our freedom and was nowhere available or much in evidence in our Village or nearby environs.
In Britain, of course, they were everywhere, symbols of a nation’s ongoing determination to honor service that, all too often, requires the ultimate sacrifice.
There, every year since the Great War ended, at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the petals of a million poppies drift down from the dome of London’s Albert Hall, and a nation collectively remembers the plea and admonition first expressed, so eloquently, by a Canadian solder, John McCrae, and symbolized in the blood red petals of the poppy.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark or 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 sunsets 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.
Definition of a Veteran
A veteran – whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his, or her, life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America”, for an amount of “up to and including my life”.
That is honor and there are way too any people in this country who no longer understand it.
Where have all the Poppies Gone? This was from the Editor’s Desk of the Middleburg Eccentric in November of 2008