Lest we forget
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.
– Lt. Colonel John McCrae
“In Flanders Field” was written by a doctor in the Canadian Army in 1915 to mark the death of a 22-year-old comrade-in-arms.
Today, white crosses still serve as a reminder of those who died in service to their country.
And poppies come into prominence again as American troops continue their efforts against terrorist factions that still wage war across the world.
As we begin our three-day weekends, likely less social ones this year, let us all pause, if only for a moment, to remember those who did not come home from fields, deserts and mountains afar.
There are fewer ways to do so this year, with just one major service that, “in normal times,” attracts hundreds to mark the solemn holiday on Monday.
The 39th annual Memorial Day Remembrance Service will be held Monday, May 25, in the Veterans Honor Garden at Coral Ridge Cemetery, 950 Chiquita Blvd. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.
To comply with social distancing parameters, the service will be spread out this year but will include the traditional components: A flyover, colors, salute and taps. State Rep. Dane Eagle will deliver this year’s address with Mayor Joe Coviello leading the pledge and the city’s holiday proclamation.
For those who wish to take part but still are limiting their time out and about, the service also will be live streamed on Coral’s Ridge’s Facebook page.
A second event will be held in the Cape a little later in the day at the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library, which will hold a Memorial Day Tribute from noon to 3 p.m.
Also as per social distancing mandates, only 140 attendees will be allowed inside at any one time.
The tribute will include live entertainment, raffles, a silent auction and a special remembrance for the 14 men who passed away aboard the USS Nimitz after a flight deck accident on May 26, 1981.
Across the river, while the veterans’ graves will be marked with flags and the grounds will be open at Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Funeral Home & Cemetery, its annual ceremony has been postponed this year in light of the pandemic.
More details on these Memorial Day activities may be found in today’s Breeze or online at cape-coral-daily-breeze.com under local news.
We thank those who serve. We thank the families of the fallen. Such sacrifices should not, will not, go unmarked.
May we never forget.
May we ever keep the faith.
– Breeze editorial