Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rememberance Day

In Flanders Fields

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.-Col. John McCrae

I can't read it without crying, without having my heart swell in both sorrow and gratitude. Sorrow for all those that have suffered and lost their lives fighting for our safety, for our freedom. Gratitude that there are such selfless brave people among us, willing to put the safety and freedoms of others above their own.

We must never forget, never forget that ones that have come before us, that have given their lives to keep us safe. But not just us, others too. I keep thinking about WWII, and what would have happened if we hadn't fought Hitler and won. How different this world would be. I wouldn't be here, that's for sure. Only part German, with Native American mixed in... No, my grandfather would have been for the gas chambers....

We must never forget. Never forget the debt we owe. Never forget the mess of war. The more we remember, the less eagerly we will jump into another war, at least that is always my hope.

Though soldiers die every day. Men and women we send overseas to fight, to protect in foreign countries. Their sacrifice is no less valuable. I may not agree with why and where they are being sent, but the fact that they go, that the agreed to put their lives on the line, in my mind, it makes them every bit the hero. To them we owe a debt of gratitude all the same.

I know I likely sound like a sap, but I don't don't care. I think it's a wonderful, amazing thing that someone would risk their life, would fight, would kill, would die, protecting someone, many someones, they don't know, that aren't connected with them. That they would do this for their country, for their people. It it a good thing. And I feel the debt we owe.