Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori Posted by: McQ
on Saturday, May 26, 2007
Lord knows that a good portion of my life has been spent in and around the military. The son of a career Army officer and serving myself for 28 years of both active and reserve service, it has been a part of the majority of my life.
I have had the privilege and honor over my lifetime to have met and known some of the finest people in the military that anyone could ever hope to meet. Incredible people who've put not only their service first, but risked their lives any number of times to do their "job". For those who've never served in the military, and especially in a combat unit, there is a depth of camaraderie that is simply unmatched in any other walk of life, and frankly, is not something which can ever be understood by or explained to others. And when you lose one of those comrades, the loss is devastating. It is truly like losing one of your family.
But, unfortunately, it "comes with the job" and those in the military understand the risk they willingly take when they don the uniform. Each explicitly accepts that losing their life may be their fate and yet still choose to serve.
We, as a nation, have been blessed with successive generations of exceptional service in our military. From popular wars like WW II to unpopular wars like Vietnam and Iraq, those that have served have done so with pride, distinction and valor. For that we should be exceedingly thankful and grateful.
Memorial Day is a day to remember those who've fallen in our nation's service. Those that have made, as it is aptly called, the ultimate sacrifice. Of course most the military is composed of the young, and thus most of our losses then are young men and women, lost in the very prime of their lives. They should be honored on this special day in an appropriate way. It isn't a day for politics, or protests or any such activity which takes away from the honor their sacrifice deserves.
It is a day for simple and earnest respect for those who have gone down fighting for that in which they believed in enough to take up arms. It is a day for dignified remembrance.
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.
To Thomas Atkins PRELUDE TO "BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS"
I have made for you a song And it may be right or wrong, But only you can tell me if it’s true. I have tried for to explain Both your pleasure and your pain, And, Thomas, here’s my best respects to you!
O there’ll surely come a day When they’ll give you all your pay, And treat you as a Christian ought to do; So, until that day comes round, Heaven keep you safe and sound, And, Thomas, here’s my best respects to you!