“In Flanders Fields…”
Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. It is the day when people remember and commemorate fallen soldiers of past and present wars, and often is marked by parades. There are also usually ceremonies in different ceremonies, and many cities and towns put American flags on the graves of soldiers who perished in these conflicts. Occasionally there will be fireworks, although this is usually reserved for later in the year with either Flag Day or the 4th of July (depending upon where you are in the country), as Memorial Day is a somber event.
The picture you see above is actually from Flanders Fields, and alludes to the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’. This was written during WWI by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (who died of pneumonia near the end of the war), a Canadian soldier. It honestly would make more sense to use the image if I were writing about Veterans’ Day, as that holiday began as Armistice Day to celebrate the end of the ‘Great War’ (a.k.a. WWI), and the poem itself obviously was about that struggle. However, ‘In Flanders Fields’ is easily one of my favorite poems.
Anyway, even if you aren’t an American, you can take pause and reflect upon the war dead of your own nation – chances are quite a few of them perished to ensure your nation’s future, so you have them to thank for your own security. Also consider their deaths as the mark of what war truly is – an ugly phenomenon that demands blood payment. We should all work toward a world where such things do not occur, and thank our departed soldiers for giving us the opportunity to be able to do as much.