Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day - 2012

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.
- John McCrae

This poem, some might call it <i><b>the</i></b> poem of World War I may feel a little dated now. Wars have come and gone and the trenches of World War I feel far removed from the deserts where soldiers bravely serve today. And yet, these words capture that spirit of solemn remembrance like no other work I know.

There are so many ways to remember on Memorial Day: parades, church services, cemetery walks, and some would argue that just living celebrates the day because it shows that the sacrifices of our militaries around the world have not been in vain.  On this day, I think of how much I respect our armed forces here in the United States and try to honor the sacrifices they and their families make.

And I pray...
Pray for the soldiers deployed to war, that they may serve as God has called them and return safely home,

Prayers of thanksgiving for all who have served over the years to preserve our freedom,

Pray for military families and all of the sacrifices they make, even in peacetime, as they move every few years and live through soldiers going out to drill, sailors at sea for months at a time, and all of the other challenges of military life,

Pray for the families of those called into service who did not make it safely home again,

Pray for God's blessing on all of those whom he is calling into service in the military, that they would be able to serve Him as they protect our country,

and praying for all of those in our military that they would know God's saving grace for while I love my country, God's love and salvation are infinitely greater.

Thank you to all who have served in our armed forces!