Today is the day we celebrate Memorial Day, once known as Decoration Day. For most, it marks the unofficial start of summer, but once upon a time in marked far more.
I’ll leave you to whatever activities you feel proper today. Like many others, I won’t do anything particular to denote the day, other than fly my flag and stop to offer a prayer. There are no big celebrations of remembrance here–no bands, no parades. Just a day off from work for a lot of us, that we’ll use to catch up all those things we should have finished earlier.
I’ll also leave you with this poem, brought again to mind by Major Chuck:
Half way down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green.
Are the souls of all dead troopers camped,
Near a good old time canteen.
And this eternal resting place,
Is known as Fiddlers’ Green.
Marching past straight through to Hell,
The Infantry are seen.
Accompanied by Engineers,
Artillery and Marines.
For none but shades of the Cavalrymen,
Dismount at Fiddlers’ Green.
Though some go curving down the trail,
To seek a warmer scene.
No Trooper ever gets to Hell,
Ere he’s emptied his canteen.
And so goes back to drink again,
With friends again at Fiddlers’ Green.
And so when man and horse go down,
Beneath a saber keen.
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee,
You stop a bullet clean.
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And put your pistol to your head,
And go to Fiddlers’ Green.