Monday, May 28, 2012

Poppies


*** Giveaway Winner Notified ***

Today is Memorial Day. For many people, this has become part of a weekend that marks the beginning of summer. Swimming pools open, brats are on the grill, sunblock is as essential as mustard, and the tiki torches are lit at sunset. Things have gotten nonchalant in past years, probably because the National Holiday Act of 1971 changed the celebration of Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day, for decorating graves) from May 30th to the last Monday in May. Instead of being a holiday with a specific day in its own right, Memorial Day became the tail end of a three-day weekend that made it easy for people to become distracted from the meaning of the day.

In an effort to steer us back to the original observance, President Clinton declared a National Moment of Remembrance at 3pm local time for all Americans "to pause for one minute to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all." I'll be spending that time at my father's graveside in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

A good way to observe the day is to read the famous poem In Flanders Fields, below, written by a Canadian military surgeon during World War I. The location was the town of Ypres, Belgium, in the province of Flanders that bordered France. Ypres was bombarded throughout the war, 1914-1918, but never fell into German hands although chlorine and mustard gas were used on the defending troops there. In the time it takes you to read and think about McCrae's poem, you can satisfy the National Moment of Remembrance - with plenty of time left for the picnic!

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 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.


Now to switch the mood completely. I'm giving away a signed copy of my latest release, Deliverance: Mortal Path Book 3, plus a bookmark, pen, and magnet.  All you have to do is use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. You'll be asked to leave a comment about Supernatural Underground. That's it! The giveaway ends Friday, June 1st. Rafflecopter picks the random winner and I'll do the notification.

15 comments:

Betty Hamilton said...

Have a great week-end! Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your books!!

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Lexi H said...

What a sweet and sad poem, thanks for sharing. Fits right in with the holiday =)

Supernatural Underground features so many of the authors that I love. So I get good updates through this site, and get to discover some new addictive reads!

bn100 said...

Very nice post and poem.

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Sharon Stogner said...

wonderful poem. will pass this along :)

Reading mind said...

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Bonnie said...

I like to visit Supernatural underground because I get the latest and greatest news on some of the best books out there. I also find all the different posts very interesting. Thank you for posting the poem, wow, what an emotional impact. Perfect for Memorial Day.

Eli Yanti said...

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