Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

Yesterday was the 48th anniversary of the untimely death of my mother.  I was raised after that point by my father, a single Dad who had to cope all the rest of his life with the aftermath of a head injury suffered (not in combat but in support) in his service in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.  I've always been aware of how badly we sometimes (well, too many times) treat our veterans here in the United States.

Today, let us all take a moment out of our busy schedules to think of those who made this day possible for us.

Our veterans, past and present, deserve our thanks, and so much more.

As you look at these monuments, please take a moment to ponder the poem at the end of this post.

These are some memorials in our area of upstate New York.  I took the Endicott photos this past August - I wish things were that green here now!

 Endicott, New York, just down Main Street from where I live.

Veterans Memorial statue.
Plaques commemorating the war dead.  An American flag is kept,fresh, on each one.

The war memorials - World War II, which my father served in (in the Army Air Force) as did one of his brothers, and one of his sisters.

The Korean War. When I grew up it wasn't a "war", it was a "police action". But the people were just as dead.
The forgotten war, Vietnam, where our dead were dishonored and our veterans were mocked - a sad thing I will never forget. Both of my next door neighbor boys (growing up in the Bronx) served in 'Nam, as did other young men I grew up with.

Binghamton - part of the Korean War monument on the Broome County courthouse lawn.

And the Revolutionary War monument, also on the Courthouse lawn.

I am not a "poetry person" (although there are a couple of poets I do enjoy) but this poem always touches my heart. Written by a Canadian soldier in 1915 upon the battle death of his friend in Flanders, Belgium, during World War I.

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

3 comments:

  1. War brings so much heartache. We should never forget those who gave their lives to keep faith with us. Beautiful, poignant photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gosh, these photos evoked a lot of thoughts!

    ReplyDelete

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