John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
In 1915, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae penned a poem while serving on the front lines during World War One.
In Flanders Fields
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 flailing 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 September 27,1920 the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died in battle. Poppies are the flowers that grew on the battlefield after WWI ended, and is the enduring symbol of remembrance of the precious blood of these brave men and women. We wear poppies on Memorial Day, which is the last Monday in May, to remind us of their ultimate sacrifice.
When I see the red of the poppies, it reminds me of the blood of heroes shed on foreign soil, and it reminds me of the hearts of loved ones that will always keep their memory alive. They will say their name and recount memories from the life of their person. We remember you.
Several years ago while working as a cashier, a young military man came through my line. I noticed that he had an aluminum bracelet on and asked him if it was a POW/MIA bracelet. I was devastated when he told me it was for his buddy who had been recently killed in combat. They are worn to honor those who didn’t come home. We remember you.
Freedom is not free. It comes at great cost to our brave men and women who serve in the United States military, and leave their precious blood on foreign soil. Thank you for your bravery, your courage, your ultimate sacrifice. We remember you and we honor you.
Abba, we lift up those who have lost loved ones on the battlefield. May You be their Peace, their Comfort and their Strength. Hold them in Your strong arms and help them as they keep the name and memories alive of their brave soldier. Amen.