Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

There was an appropriate piece in the Burlington Free Press yesterday, the Chris Bohjelian column. He told about the elementary school in his small town of Lincoln, VT. The entire school walks to the town cemetery for a Memorial Day observance. Students can find graves marked with GAR, soldiers who had fought in the Civil War. In a small town there are many connections between the past and present and this struck me as such a fitting way to honor that. Reflection can sometimes be overlooked in education's current focus on meeting test standards.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow (1)
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 John McCrae

Today I went to the cemetery to plant flowers at my parents' grave sight and reflected on the life and opportunities they gave to me and on the dream of peace, an end to war and whatever it is that gives cause for wars.

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