Monday, May 31, 2010

Flanders Fields

Sport is an expression of our inner selves - no different than written word, speech, music, or art. While we compete we are not the writers but the ones being written about by those who study us. We know what they are merely trying to know. They are seeking belief, while we already believe. Our difficulty is in expressing the whole truth of that experience, that knowledge, that belief.

We choose to race, or not, like the activist who takes up a cause and chooses to march, or not, the voice - metaphoric or literal - is the same. Hold it not back, because it is our right to use it or not.

The very fundamental of freedom is speech and its forms expressed. It's the foundation, the cornerstone, the pillar of liberty set by the architects of our country. Liberty is loved by free men everywhere and feared by tyranny anywhere. It's because of the love; men and women are sent to sacrifice their lives to keep it for all surviving. And it's because of their sacrifice we remember them on Memorial Day.

"In Flanders Fields," was written by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae while fighting in World War I after presiding over the funeral of a friend killed in battle. The poem was published in 1915 and put to music in 1917. The poppies referred to in the song are of the flowers growing wild on top of the hastily made cemeteries for the soldiers in the Flanders region between France and Belgium.

As a tribute to the war dead, my daughter Kathryn sings "In Flanders Fields." Please click below to listen to a brief introduction and then the song.

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.

Stay Tuned...