Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Faith Blog...Memorial Day

It's hard to say it better than this:

A Memorial Day Poem

By C W Johnson

We walked among the crosses
Where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle

As TAPS began to play.

The Chaplain led a prayer

We stood with heads bowed low.
And I thought of fallen comrades

I had known so long ago.
They came from every city

Across this fertile land.

That we might live in freedom.

They lie here 'neath the sand.

I felt a little guilty
My sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time

But these men lost their all.

Now the services are over
For this Memorial Day.

To the names upon these crosses

I just want to say,
Thanks for what y
ou've given
No one could ask for more.

May you rest with God in heaven
From now through evermore

“When Your people go out to battle against their enemies, wherever You send them, and when they pray to You toward this city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name, then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause." 2 Chronicles 6: 34-35 Amen.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day ....tell the young people around you about the meaning of tomorrow and make sure they're listening because they don't get it much in schools anymore...and maybe we can all make some small sacrifice for someone today, in memory of those who made such a huge sacrifice for us. GOD BLESS AMERICA



Always On Watch said...

For this Memorial Day.
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,
Thanks for what you've given
No one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in heaven
From now through evermore


Elmers Brother said...


Jeremiah Robinson
Austin Koth
Brian Hobbs
Nathan White

JINGOIST said...

Beautiful post Z! Thank you.

I.H.S. said...

Thank You!

Anonymous said...

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.

~ John McCrae, May 1915

~ submitted by FT

the malcontent said...

Please check this one out!

But please sit down while watching

Anonymous said...


I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whalebone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime-tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped
........... upon my bosom.

And the plashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing
......... in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap
............upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up
............ on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran
............along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing
............from his sword-hilt
............and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze
............along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze
............for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat
............ bruised my body
............ as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon --
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning a rider from the Duke.
"Madam, we regret to inform you
............ that Lord Hartwell
............ Died in action Thursday se'nnight."
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
"Any answer, Madam," said my footman.
"No," I told him.
"See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer."
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up
............proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered,
............"It shall be as you have said."
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses,
............and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body
............will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

From Men, Women and Ghosts by Amy Lowell

~ submitted by FT

Anonymous said...

Safe in their alabaster chambers ––
Untouched by morning and Untouched by noon --
Lie the meek members
...... of the Resurrection --
Rafter of satin and roof of stone

Light laughs the breeze
In her castle of sunshine
Babbles the bee in a stolid ear
Pipe the sweet birds
In ignorant cadence --
Ah! What sagacity perished here!

Grand go the years
In the cresecent above them ––
Worlds scoop their arcs
And firmaments row.
Diadems drop,
And Doges surrender --
Soundless as dots
On a disc of snow.

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Always On Watch said...

Today I found a beautiful Memorial Day essay in the Washington Post. I lifted the entire essay and posted it. A fitting meditation for Memorial Day, and I can't write anything better.

Anonymous said...

We're only here for a little stay
Don't worry. Don't hurry.
And smell the flowers along the way.

~ Anonymous

cube said...

Very thoughtful post, Z. Good to see that some people remember that Memorial Day is more than sales and BBQ.

Anonymous said...


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved friend, Common Sense, who had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

• Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
• Why the early bird gets the worm;
• Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot... She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 step-siblings:

Inoma Rights, Iwannit Now, and Ima Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

~ submitted by FT

Z said...

Always On Watch, that link to your place is well worth reading, thanks so much.
FT, thanks for so much must be feeling inspired. The Common Sense piece is always worth reading again, isn't it.

Z said...

Elbro, are those friends of yours?
If so, I'm so very sorry for your loss and am extremely honored to have their names here...please, everyone, say a prayer for Jeremiah, Austin, Brian and Nathan.

Z said...

malcontent, that's quite an old video but worth seeing, isn't it.......thanks.
I'm not a fan of Boehner's, but he does get it right sometimes.

christian soldier said...

Hug - my warrior friend-and have a
Memorial Day ---

Anonymous said...

Hi, Z. Memorial Day has always meant a great deal to me, because our family and friends made a big to do about it for decades.

I know it's supposed to be for our fallen soldiers, but I broaden it by cherishing the memory of all who've been near and dear to me -- and all who've taught me valuable lessons and enriched life in other ways.

The poetry I quoted speaks to our deepest emotions regarding loss, grief, war and the sometimes terrible price one must pay simply for doing one's duty.

The well-known piece on the death of Common Sense seems appropriate too on this occasion.

The gift fallen soldiers have given us is priceless and too much taken for granted -- or not even acknowledged anymore -- but thee we should empathize too with the terrible pain and grief those who loved and were close to the fallen have suffered. In a way they too made an Ultimate Sacrifice for the country.

Patterns -- the longish poem by Amy Lowell -- has been a favorite since high school days. I've always thought it a very great work. To be fully appreciated it needs to be read aloud by someone like Julie Harris or Joan Plowright.

As I know you fully realize, death is a very big deal. I've always thought it strange that most of us celebrate Memorial Day with carefree picnics and scarcely any thought for the men who died in blood soaked fields for our benefit.

On the other hand I know they fought so we COULD continue to live well and to remain free.

How horribly the crowd of thugs currently in power dishonors their memory and makes a mockery of their sacrifice. If that element continues to hold power, every dead soldier who fought for freedom will have died in vain.

The last stanza of In Flanders Fields give me a chill every time I read it:

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.

If that does no make you weep in light of our current situation, nothing ever will.

~ FreeThinke

WomanHonorThyself said...

Blessed Memorial day to ya my fellow soldier in the fight~!..:)

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

God bless our soldiers, our warriors, protecting us, keeping us strong, holding our freedom.

Every one of us, reading this page, this comment section right now, every one of us KNOWS that the American Soldier will NEVER let us down.

It is the American POLITICIAN that will ensure we are corrupted and emasculated, and sold down the river for some "greater, global good."

It is the American Soldier who is responsible for whatever unity, cohesion and civilization there is around the entire PLANET.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, BZ, an army is only as good as the leadership that directs it allows it to be.

The worst aspect of the military is the inability of individuals soldiers to take the initiative -- they must wait for orders from on high. Paradoxically that is also the military's greatest strength.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

For me, Memorial Day is a day of reflection. Of remembering so many brave heroes who fought and died for America, for us, in the name of freedom.

May they always be remembered with love and gratitude. God rest their souls, and God bless America.


Z said... almost hurt me when I see people on TV wishing others HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!
I mean, HAPPY? I don't think we have to slouch around in despair but HAPPY is barbecues and a great deal on a mattress....
this is why I hope parents are talking to their children about what Memorial Day is really about..thanks.

Some of you've talked about OUR being soldiers on the blogs and, in many ways, we the safety of our homes and in front of computers, but our passions are aroused and we so want to save this country from socialism, fascism, terrorism, immorality, negativity,vulnerability and all the other things which seem on our way.

Brooke said...

Thanks for a beautiful post, Z. I hope everyone has a meaningful Memorial Day.

Elmers Brother said...

Elbro, are those friends of yours?
If so, I'm so very sorry for your loss and am extremely honored to have their names here...please, everyone, say a prayer for Jeremiah, Austin, Brian and Nathan.

I have a couple of connections to all four of these.

Jeremiah was the son of a longtime friend of mine Amy and her husband Burt. He was killed by an IED in Iraq in 2005. Just days before his 20th birthday.

Ed (Austin) Koth was part of my unit when I was in Iraq, in the mammal platoon, he worked with the dolphins. After our trip he went to Explosive Ordnance Disposal and on a subsequent tour was killed while clearing an IED. The Navy named a dolphin after him.

Sgt. Brian Hobbs was killed in Afghanistan, I know his brother in law, we used to work together.

Lt. Nathan White is from my hometown here in Az. While we were there his plane was mistakenly shot down by a Patriot missile. My platoon was split and while we cleared mines in southern Iraq they went to look for him in a lake near Kabala. My platoon mates found his body and repatriated him.

All but Austin are from my hometown.

Austin had tried to be a SEAL, if anyone has ever seen the special on A & E about SEAL training (several years ago) they would have seen him.

I contacted Amy this week to let her know I had been thinking of her. Her husband is an Iraqi War veteran and they have two other sons in the military. One a Marine and the other a Sailor.

Thank God for them.

sue said...

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade
When Spring comes round with rustling shade
And apple blossoms fill the air.
I have a rendzvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throwbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

~~~Alan Seeger

Elmers Brother said...

Karbala...left out the 'r'

Z said...

Elbro, thanks so much for sharing that...the least we can do is know these amazing men's stories, isn't it. It brings it home to hear someone like you talk about them.....brings it home and brings a tear. God bless their families.

Sue, If I didn't know Mr. Z's number, and all of ours, was known before he was born...his rendezvous with death, I don't think I'd be doing as well as I am. Though today's been a very tough one. Of course, this gorgeous poem is by an amazing man with more courage than I could ever muster, but I believe it's this feeling that OUR TIME IS ALREADY ON THE CALENDER that helps a soldier....and it sure helped me.
thanks for that reminder.

Anonymous said...

"The coward dies a thousand deaths, the hero just but once."

That sounds like Shakespeare, but I'm not sure where it came from. Does it matter? The sentiment rings true.

It's probably a good thing that heroes more often than not are men of action and not men of thought. If they thought too much about the ramifications of their actions, they might lose their courage.

And then where would we be?

~ FreeThinke

sue said...

'A coward dies a thousand deaths...'

is from Shakespeare's MacBeth.

Last night I watched Saving Private Ryan, and the agony that Cpl. Timothy Upham (Jeremy Davies)
felt when he lacked the courage to save his fellow soldier was very evident and Shakespeare's quote clearly applies here.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sue. I didn't have the courage even to watch that movie -- or The Passion of the Christ for that matter.

I did go to the Spielberg movie about The Holocaust and the one German Industrialist played by Leam Neeson (sp?) who worked to save Jewish lives at great danger to himself.

I literally got sick during the movie, and had to spend a good deal of time in the bathroom throwing up.

Contemplating the horrible things people have done to one another is enough to paralyze the senses.

I admire the courage war heroes have exhibited, and I am grateful to them, but I can't imagine how they were able to face the horror they did.

War is SATANIC. There must be a better way to iron out our differences.

~ FT

Z said...

Schindler's List, FT....I have never watched it but should. it was hard with Mr. Z because he was so horrified by what the NAZIs had done (not all Germans, the NAZIS..)

Sue, I could barely watch Saving Private Ryan and was so troubled by what I saw.

In WWII, we had no support groups, nothing like that, or at least very few, and somehow American men and women came back and lived their lives...

sue said...

FT - SPR is an excellent movie, however there are many parts that are hard to watch. Seeing it helps me to appreciate what soldiers have gone through. But I know that a movie does not begin to describe the horrors and sometimes senselessness of war.

I also did not see The Passion in the theater, but watched some of it at home. I have trouble watching Holocaust movies, but have read books about it.

sue said...

z - I think that because SPR is so well done, that makes it easier to watch. And it has such a strong cast.

Anonymous said...

A different slant on the glories of self-sacrifice in war.

Dulce et Decorum Est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

~ Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

~ Submitted by FreeThinke