CROSE: Honoring veterans on Memorial Day

Janice Lynn Crose
Crestview News Bulletin

We have an abundance of veterans in our small town of Crestview, and we owe them a plethora of gratitude for their military service.

Some of our veterans gave all for the cause of freedom, their lives and these are the men and women that we honor on Memorial Day.

We must remember that our freedom wasn't and isn't free, it has cost the blood, sweat and tears of the men and women who have fought for the United States of America.

Generally, there are moving services at cemeteries to remember our service members, but this year, there will be very few services as people are concerned about the coronavirus spreading.

In some states the Boy Scout troops aren't even being allowed to put flags by the graves this year because of the regulations from the Veteran's Administration.

Whether we have Memorial Day services or not, we need to honor and remember those who died for our freedom.

Webster's 1828 online dictionary defines freedom: "A state of exemption from the power or control of another; liberty; exemption from slavery, servitude or confinement; freedom is personal, civil, political, and religious.

We don't want to lose our freedom, but how much do we value freedom? Are we willing to stand up for what is right and fight tyranny? We need to be prepared for whatever may be thrown at us and willing to defend our country and our freedom.

Here is a quote from Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and our third president:

"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

Those are good words to remember, as we watch some of our representatives run amok with unlawful edicts and out-of-control spending.

Back in 1915, John McCrae wrote the poem "In Flanders Fields," which talked about the poppies that blew between the crosses in the cemetery.

In 1918, a woman named Moina Michael wrote another poem remembering our fallen heroes from World War I, named "We Shall Keep the Faith." She encouraged people to wear a poppy on their lapel to remember the fallen.

The poppy is used as a remembrance, as there were poppies in the fields where many of the heroes died.

Here is her poem.

We Shall Keep the Faith

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,

Sleep sweet – to rise anew!

We caught the torch you threw

And holding high, we keep the Faith

With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led;

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies,

But lends a lustre to the red

Of the flower that blooms above the dead

In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red

We wear in honor of our dead.

Fear not that ye have died for naught;

We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought

In Flanders Fields.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.