I'm going to steal Michael's thunder a couple of days early (sorry, buddy!) and remind everybody to take some time out from good times and good company over this holiday weekend to reflect a little on the reason for Memorial Day. Regardless of our individual political dispositions or perspectives on armed conflict, acknowledging the sacrifices borne by our military and their families should be an essential part of our privileged duties as a citizens.
To facilitate things, allow me to direct you to some appropriate reading. Many of y'all are already familiar with McRae's "In Flanders Fields" and the subsequent association of poppies with the day. I can still recite most of this one from memory, due to a 6th grade english class assignment.
In the end, I always find myself returning to Binyon's "For the Fallen", as it strikes the perfect tone. Particularly, the verses known as the "Ode of Remembrance", which I will leave you with here:
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.