At my Toastmaster’s meeting this morning, I missed the opportunity to give an Inspiration after leading the group in the Pledge to the Flag.
Here’s my belated message to the In Ahwatukee Toastmasters club:
Yesterday was Memorial Day.
The Word of the day was Remember.
The Song of the day was Taps.
The Image of the day was a long line of wreaths decorating the gravesites.
The Flower of the day was the red Poppy, blowing in the fields.
The Emotion of the day was too powerful and immense for words.
Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence, honoring Americans who died defending our nation and its values.
Yesterday day was Memorial Day.
This day of remembrance is always an emotional one as I visit national or local cemeteries for the annual services and tributes. This year the tears flowed stronger than usual as I listened to the heart-wrenching story of a Gold Star Mom who kept the memory of her son Christopher alive with a moving tribute of love and inspiration. Tina’s son was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2004 and she shared many joyous memories and touching impacts of his short life. He and all the others who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country will not be forgotten.
Yesterday was Memorial Day and it was a powerful and moving day for me to remember.
Yesterday was a time to pause, reflect and pay our respect to our nations’ many heroes who have shown us that Freedom is Never Free.
Photo by Steve Smull
by Brenda Smull on 3 May 2015
Five score since the red blood flowed in the fields of Flanders
Where the fragile Poppy still blows.
The crimson torch passes from failing hands to firm
Reaching out to keep faith alive.
Remember the price paid, the valor displayed
In France as across the globe, the Poppy grows.
I’ve known for a long time that the power of the poppy was strong and now, based on the events of the past 3 months, I feel that the significance and impact of the fragile, red flower is immense.
One hundred years ago today, 3 May 1915, the “In Flanders Fields” poem was inspired and is an enduring and powerful symbol of the sacrifices made on the battlefield.
In the coming days, I will share with you the story of a former Poppy Queen who paid tribute to her veteran Father and now wishes to honor and remember another Veteran and Father who recently passed away, but not before he proudly watched his daughter be crowned the Poppy Queen of VFW Post 1.
Now I take up the torch and hold it high for all to see so that those who fought so valiantly are not forgotten.
In Flanders Fields
by Lieutenant Colonel 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.