Memorial Day, 2005

Today is Memorial Day when we remember and mourn those who have worn our uniform and have given their lives in the service of their country. It was originally called Decoration Day, a day for decorating the graves of the war dead of both sides who were killed in the American Civil War.

The poppies you may see being worn are inspired by the most famous of all Canadian poems, In Flanders Field, written by John McCrae and the response to it written by Moina Michael. Both poems are quoted in full in this post at The Daily Demarche.

There’s one more point I’d like to make. In the television coverage of Memorial Day we’re going to see a lot of Arlington National Cemetery. Let’s not forget the origins of the cemetery. Following the Civil War, the victorious Union proclaimed eternal hatred and vengeance against Robert E. Lee, son of American Revolutionary war hero “Light Horse” Harry Lee, kinsman of George Washington, and commanding general of the Confederate army by turning his beautiful estate, Arlington, into a cemetery for those who had died in the War.

May we mourn the loss of those who have given their lives in the defense of our country and be grateful for their sacrifices. But may we also renounce all hatred and vengeance.

My previous thoughts on Memorial Day:

Memorial Day, 2004

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