The Few. The Proud.

Monday, May 28, 2007
Of the many wonderful Americans I have met since moving here from Europe almost 20 years ago, none have impressed me more than my friend Paul. Having graduated from one of the nation's top law schools, and landed a job at a suitably high-profile law firm, Paul returned to active service in the US Marine Corps at the outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Like most combat veterans he is reticent about his exploits there, so all I know is that he led his men into Baghdad some time before it officially fell.

Paul - or, rather, Major Paul A. Konopka - retuned to civilian life for a while after that, but now is back in theater. Yesterday he sent me a poem by John McCrae in honor of Memorial Day. I thought I would share it with you:

In Flanders Fields, 1915

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.

The Marines may be 'proud,' but not nearly as proud as we are of them.

Here's to Paul and all our fantastic young men and women whose service keeps the rest of us safe and free.


Knucklehead said...

I petition the Lord very infrequently but do so now. God, bless and keep these men and women.

Habu said...

Inspiration for the Poem

On 2 May, 1915, in the second week of fighting during the Second Battle of Ypres Lieutenant Alexis Helmer was killed by a German artillery shell. He was a friend of the Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae. It is believed that John began the draft for his famous poem 'In Flanders Fields' that evening.

God bless our service men and women.

Semper Fi

richard mcenroe said...

A Memorial Day Sentiment