“In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae
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.
Despite the increasing celebration of Memorial Day as the first day of summer, there are some formal rituals that are still in existence.
- The American flag should be hung at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day and then raised to the top staff.
- Since 2000, when the U.S. congress passed legislation, all Americans are encouraged to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3pm local time.
- The federal government used Memorial Day to honor non-veterans. The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1922.
“…And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.” – Ronald Reagan
“The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.” – Judd Gregg
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis
“Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Home of the free, because of the brave.” – Unknown
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
“May we never forget our fallen comrades. Freedom isn’t free.” – Sgt. Major Bill Paxton
“Duty, honor, country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” – Gen. Douglas MacArthur
“And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave.” – Joseph Rodman Drake
“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“It’s better to fight for something in life than to die for nothing.” – Gen. George S. Patton
“As we set today aside to honor and thank our veterans, let us be mindful that we should do this every day of the year and not just one.” – Beth Pennington
“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” – Harry S. Truman
“Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay.” – Barack Obama
“To those in uniform serving today and to those who have served in the past, we honor you today and every day.” – Unknown
“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” – Unknown