As we think about the significance of Memorial Day allow me to share a poem by Berton Braley entitled, “Lest We Forget”
Our dead rest on the breast of France
And all around the world
Where by war’s grim or splendid chance
Our banners were unfurled:
So, whether here or overseas
Their bodies chance to lie,
We pay full honor unto these
Who did not fear to die.
Because they dared, because they died
We and our nation live,
Our liberty, our hope, our pride
Were gifts that they could give:
And since for all these gifts the price
Was life — they held life cheap
And blithely made the sacrifice
And laid them down to sleep.
O, dead of many wars, who fought
With spirit high and pure,
The noble structure that you wrought
Shall evermore endure!
You held your country’s cause above
All else: we, unafraid,
Will keep your country worthy of
The price you gladly paid.