Monday, November 11, 2013
Veteran's Day - A Remembrance Of Sacrifice
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.
- Lt. Colonel John McCrae, Canadian Army Medical Corps (1872-1918)
Two things separated by just short of a century...a soldier mourning his comrades murdered by a jihadoi at Fort Hood, and a poem dating from the carnage of the First World War.As you can tell by the dates, the author of the poem became one of the millions who died in the carnage.
In both cases, we have a surviving warrior in the middle of an unfinished battle, paying tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
In both cases, in spite of leadership that made serious errors in judgement, the men and women with boots on the ground made the decision to carry on until victory was won.In many cases, it may not even have been a conscious decision...merely a realization that there was a job to be done and something important worth defending. And they intended to see it through.
In Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and other Commonwealth countries, they call this Remembrance day, and wear or display poppies,like the ones described in McCrae's poem.
The warriors who survived gather to pay tribute to their fallen comrades, just as we do here.
These warriors, by and large, pay no attention to supercilious, faithless pundits, 'activists' and journalists who mock, question and pick apart the reasons for the bravery of men and women they are unworthy to even mention. The ones who fought there, who sacrificed, know why they did what they did, and why they stayed at it, in spite of the horror they faced on a daily basis..until victory was won, the guns went silent and peace prevailed.
The torch has been passed to us now, and we face a defining moment in our history. Time will tell if we prove worthy of what was sacrificed in our behalf.