As Memorial Day approaches my mind drifted into the topic. We know that the day sprang from the Civil War, and in my early days I recall aged veterans of that strife marching in parades. The Spanish War didn’t seem to play much of a part. Then World War I (“the war to end all wars”, remember?) contributed the ubiquitous poppy, and we each had one- stemming from Col. McCrae’s immortal “In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row…”
Then shortly along came World War II, truly world-wide with its terrible carnage. We hoped for no more, only to find ourselves in Korea, then ‘Nam- and on and on. There really have been no more intervals between wars- just a continuum of combat or threatened combat- you know the names- to this day. And those who have sacrificed so much are in one or another way with us still.
“Rest, comrades, rest and sleep;
We have the watch.”
Interrupt the barbecue and the beach for a moment, and think on it even if briefly.