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May 27, 2002

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain..."  from the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln


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.

Written by Lt. Col. John McCrea in WW I, this poem has become the symbol of Memorial Day - a day set aside to honor those who have given their lives in all wars.

R. W. Lilliard wrote the following poem in reply. This year it is especially appropriate as we also honor those who perished on Sept. 11.

Rest ye in peace, ye Flanders dead. 
The fight that ye so bravely led;
We've taken up. And we will keep 
True faith with you who lie asleep;
With each a cross to mark his bed,
In Flanders fields. 

Fear not that ye have died for naught. 
The torch ye threw to us we caught.
Ten million hands will hold it high,
And Freedom's light shall never die!
We've learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders fields.

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