+4 votes
in Miscellaneous ♑ by (485 points)

For me, it's a time for remembrance and thanks to the many veterans past and present. In your opinion, is this day for celebration.....saying "happy" Memorial day, barbeques, parties, and parades....or is it a somber day.....a day of respect and remembrance?

4 Answers


Every year at this time, I read Col. McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" and Walt Whitman's "Song for all Seas, all Ships" and have to hold back the tears.

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.


Song for all Seas, all Ships

TO-DAY a rude brief recitative,
Of ships sailing the Seas, each with its special flag or ship-signal;
Of unnamed heroes in the ships- Of waves spreading and spreading, far as the eye can reach;
Of dashing spray, and the winds piping and blowing;
And out of these a chant, for the sailors of all nations,
Fitful, like a surge.

Of Sea-Captains young or old, and the Mates- and of all intrepid Sailors;
Of the few, very choice, taciturn, whom fate can never surprise, nor death dismay,
Pick'd sparingly, without noise, by thee, old Ocean- chosen by thee,
Thou Sea, that pickest and cullest the race, in Time, and unitest Nations!
Suckled by thee, old husky Nurse- embodying thee!
Indomitable, untamed as thee.

(Ever the heroes, on water or on land, by ones or twos appearing,
Ever the stock preserv'd, and never lost, though rare- enough for seed preserv'd.)

Flaunt out O Sea, your separate flags of nations!
Flaunt out, visible as ever, the various ship-signals!
But do you reserve especially for yourself, and for the soul of man, one flag above all the rest,
A spiritual woven Signal, for all nations, emblem of man elate above death,
Token of all brave captains, and all intrepid sailors and mates,
And all that went down doing their duty;
Reminiscent of them- twined from all intrepid captains, young or old;
A pennant universal, subtly waving, all time, o'er all brave sailors,
All seas, all ships.

Rooster TheOtherTink

@Tink: Very nice. :)

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink

TU, Rooster.

Virginia TheOtherTink

Beautiful, O'Tink...especially IN FLANDERS FIELDS, I have loved that since childhood!

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink

@ Virginia,

Beautiful indeed, and can you believe, In Flanders Fields was rejected by the first magazine it was sent to? The editor must have been blind not to recognize such a gem.

It was published in Dec, 1915 in Punch magazine. You can see it below, unobtrusively tucked away in the lower right-hand corner.


Virginia TheOtherTink

O'Tink, I actually went online for this...because 1915 seemed too early for this classic poem of WWI.

However McCrae was Canadian of course, and they entered the war much earlier...and good for PUNCH! There was a little book called 101 FAMOUS POEMS, and that was one of the selections I actually memorized as a child. I recall McCrae did not survive the war, and just now learned he died of pneumonia. Quite a hero...entering the war age 41, as a physician he could have opted for non-combat service, but insisted on the front lines.

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink

Virginia, the following lines just came to me. They are not meant to be a parody, but a token of respect.

And to your honor, John McCrae,

With my poor words, what can I say?

I have kept faith with you who died,

Remembered them and often cried

For those who gave their lives one day

In Flanders Fields.

Virginia TheOtherTink

Your token is not only respectful but beautiful also, OtherTink.


I've tried my best to make it a bit of all of that except to celebrate much. I take time to remember all those that went before me. Those I knew and all those I never knew. A day of respect for the men and women who paid the ultimate price for freedom in their own ways. I salute them all as someday, I'll be with them again! 


TheOtherTink Rooster

We shall never forget them.


Dear Angela,

In my family, Memorial Day meant everybody got flowers from their garden for the graves of family, followed by a big home-cooked dinner served in the dining room...laughter and fun, but also quite poignant and not what you would think of as a 'party.'

Now everyone is dispersed to far-flung places, even I was in Iowa for five years...but when I arrived in Washington State, the first thing I did was to visit the cemetery. I had no flowers, so I just assembled all my pennies and put one on each grave...a symbol of wholeness!


May I propose a

Blessed Memorial Day

remembering with love and respect,

honouring all those who were sacrificed

thanking all those who served and gave

raising awareness and hope

learning to forgive to be forgiven

and allowing smiles to dry the tears.