Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

The first observance of Memorial Day was held May 30, 1868 to honor soldiers killed in Civil War. Today Memorial Day is celebrated the last Monday in May to honor all Americans who have given their lives during wartime. The event became a federal holiday in 1971.   
There are many ways large and small to pay tribute on this day to those who lost their lives and those missing in action by displaying  a flag, writing a letter or contacting a family who has a missing service member or who has lost a loved one, attending a Memorial Day service/ceremony or parade in your area and visiting a grave site. Be sure to check your newspapers for other events being held in your area.
Memorial Day
"Dulce et decorum est"
(Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori is a line from the Roman lyrical poet Horace's odes roughly translated into English as: "It is sweet and right to die for your country.")

The bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings to-day.
The road is rhythmic with the feet
Of men-at-arms who come to pray.
The roses blossom white and red
On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
Flags wave above the honored dead
And martial music cleaves the sky.
Above their wreath-strewn graves we kneel,
They kept the faith and fought the fight.
Through flying lead and crimson steel
They plunged for Freedom and the Right.
May we, their grateful children, learn
Their strength, who lie beneath this sod,
Who went through fire and death to earn
At last the accolade of God.
In shining rank on rank arrayed
They march, the legions of the Lord;
He is their Captain unafraid,
The Prince of Peace . . . Who brought a sword. 

written by Joyce Kilmer (December 6, 1886-July 30, 1918),
Joyce Kilmer was really born Alfred Joyce Kilmer.
He is an American writer and poet remembered mostly for his short poem Trees
TREES
by: Joyce Kilmer 
    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.
     
    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
     
    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
     
    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;
     
    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.
     
    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.


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