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 Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium by Lt. Col. John McCrae The ghosts come back a little, today. I realized while at the local Memorial Day ceremony just how long the list has gotten. Men I knew well, men I only knew in passing before they were gone. Men who died in combat. Men who died in training. Men who took their own lives. Not a lot to say about it, today. Fair winds and following seas. We have the watch.
Presented without further comment, a poem by my Recon Brother, Bryan Moulton. Dedicated to those who have given all that they can in the defense of our nation, I offer my own humble tribute: Morning rays, a golden hue, give to your pale visage Shadows, banished by the day, lurk in angled lines and draws I lie in peace amidst dew-dropped curves and blades on which you lie A blanket, born of heavenly breath, warm and safe beneath the sky An echo, a mourn, not seen but felt, a memory long ago A flash of light, a flash of sound, age-faded but crisp and bold Loving assault upon senses, dulled, these memories to the fore O’ershadow the triumphant trumpets’ call to a friend in need no more Eyes lift from the green to the playful draught, teasing brilliant stripes with ease Starry night turns starry day, watched by timeless guardians, freed A dance in the wind, the fabric plays, with its furl and snap of cloth Watched over by beams of radiant gold, free of want and grief and wroth Wondrous gaze falls to alabaster skin, in blessed relief, stark By warmed touch, your closed eyes have kept me through