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In Honor of Veterans

Posted Nov 12 2012 8:46am

I travel a lot. Normally, I am heading to places I love to visit-- warm, sunny locales or exciting cities of historic proportions.  Sometimes it is a vacation, often it is in my role as a representative of this agency. Last month, I did something different. I had the opportunity to visit Flanders, specifically Ypres, Belgium and the Normandy Landing Beaches in France. The weather was appropriately miserable-- wet, cold and windy.  And the mud!  It struck me then that I was embarking on a journey to pay my respects to men and women who did not survive the battles of the World Wars. They did not return to their community to be welcomed home by families, hug their children, kiss their parents, joke with their siblings or grow old with their spouses. The cemeteries of stark, white stones, many marked as unknown, stretched off in precise lines in all directions. I thought to myself, each of these was someone’s child. And I wept. 

I know every day a parent in the armed forces has to leave their family for their next assignment. I know that places a huge burden on the parent, grandparent or caregiver left behind.  So thank you, all of you. You deserve so much more than one day in November in your honor.

Submitted byChris Gallant



In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915
 
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.
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