20 October 2015

Beautifully Said:  Our Country, Our Military

Combined Poppies

Having served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer for 4 years, I have a deep respect for all those men and women who have served, or do serve, our country, honorably. I’m third-generation Army on my mother’s side: my maternal grandfather, my mother, and then me. My dad was a Marine.

Even before joining the military, though, I loved my country. The United States of America is truly a great nation. Traveling around the world strengthened this feeling. Sure, I visited some great places, but would I want to live there? No. I know we have our problems. But every time I hear The Star-Spangled Banner, I cry, especially when they get to “And our flag was still there!” Every time I stand for our American flag and place my hand over my heart, I cry. Every time I see a flag draped across a casket, I cry. So this post is dedicated to the men and women who fight and defend our country, past or present. My examples may not refer to American military heroes, but they are about the military and are “Beautifully Said”.

My dad introduced this poem to me, which refers to the Great War 1914-1918.

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 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.

On the sign outside the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sheridan, Wyoming: “The price of freedom is visible here.”

And some photos that don’t need captions.

And yes, I cried while researching this and posting each item. Please feel free to include your own “Beautifully Said” items related to loving our country or our military heroes in the comments.

Colleen Eccles Penor