Monday Musings on a Saturday 5.29.21

Dear Friends,

When Monday falls on a holiday, I send this out the following Tuesday.  I was going to do that this week, but it occurred to me that Tuesday will be a bit late for something about Memorial Day.  So . . .  Monday Musings on a Saturday!

Rose City Park United Methodist Church was built in 1924.  “The War to End All Wars” was finally over.  An art glass window, created by the famous Povey Brothers, was dedicated to the fallen soldiers.

The window had bright red poppies in it.  When I served that church, I did some research.  I remembered poppies for sale to raise funds for veterans.  I was curious about the connection between poppies, Memorial Day, World War I, and this window.

I learned that the poppy is a symbol of World War I.  This is because of a poem about a Belgian cemetery called Flanders Fields.

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 falling 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.

Captain John McCrae wrote this poem.  He was a Canadian physician who fought in World War I.  He died of pneumonia near the war’s end.  He was 45.

I learned this poem was set to music by John Philip Sousa.  I am sending you a link to listen to it as performed by “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band.  I didn’t want you to have to wait until Tuesday for this!

On this sacred weekend, we lift to God everyone who died too young in war.  And we pray for peace.

In Christ,