Archive for May 25th, 2015

The first small town my wife lived in is the one we now call home.  In the lead up to Memorial Day, the VFW were distributing “Buddy Poppies” and asking for a donation.  She had never heard of buddy poppies.  The story behind Buddy Poppies is a poem written by Dr. Major John McCrae, second in command of the 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery during the Second Battle of Ypres in April and May 1915.  Below is the poem’s text and a video song version of it.

A buddy poppy is a good remembrance. Dr. McCrae’s line, “If ye break faith with us who die\We shall not sleep” resonates with a Biblical truth:  the Church is a democracy of the dead where the dead have a voice (G.K. Chesterton).  We can not break faith with the dead then we are dead.  For  the Lord is the Lord of the living, not of the dead for all are alive to Him (Matthew 22: 31-33).  On Memorial Day we do not thank a veteran as we should on November 11th. On Memorial Day we thank God for those who gave the last full measure of their devotion.  Keeping faith with the dead, we keep faith with those who live:  the families and friends of those who died in defense of our Constitutional liberty.  As Lincoln said in his second Inaugural Address, “…let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan”.

Remember the oath every member of the Armed Forces (and the President and Senators and Representatives) gives which begins: “I,(name) do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…” Several years ago I heard an army officer, at a commissioning service at the Virginia Military Institute tell the soon to be officers that they are to defend a document, words on a page .  Every nation will protect their nation. Our armed forces defend our constitutional liberty. In the history of nations, I think our Constitution set forth an idea that at the time was unique in the history of nations shines:  we do not go to war to protect our government, our king, our queen, even our property, but we defend liberty.  Many died to defend our freedom. We thank the Lord for their defense. Freedom and liberty are Biblical words and they are worth fighting for. As it is inscribed on the Liberty Bell:   Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof Lev. XXV X

  Romans 13:  “…the authorities are ministers of God…Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” (emphasis my own)  Honor and respect are due to those who died so we as American citizens can speak freely, without fear of death (!), worship freely, without fear of government political correctness, make our grievances known to the government peacefully, without censorship, protect ourselves when government can not.  

Support the work of the VFW, the American Legion, Wounded Warriors, etc.  Pray for our soldiers and sailors, especially those in harm’s way.

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.

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