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Memorial Day 2012

I was reading about the American Flag and our nation’s great history while enjoying time with family in Seattle, WA this evening… all a part of our Memorial Day extended weekend. ¬†It reminded me of how much I love to see the Stars and Stripes flying from atop flag poles, on the side of buildings, and of course from the rugged mountain peaks we carry it to as part of our 7 Summits Challenge.

I smile to think about the feeling I get when we pull it out of its protective bag and unfurl it on a summit.  The red and blue jump boldly out after what is usually several long days of climbing among snow, ice and rock.  What a beautiful contrast!

In honor of Memorial Day, I wanted to post some quotes/poems that are appropriate for this great day of remembrance.

“Our Flag” Henry Ward Beecher

“Our flag means, then all that our fathers meant in the Revolutionary War; it means all that the Declaration of Independence meant; it means all that the Constitution of our people, organizing for justice, for liberty and for happiness, meant.

Our flag carries American ideas, American history and American feelings … in its glorious insignia, it has gathered and stored chiefly this supreme idea: Divine right of liberty in man.

Every color means liberty; every thread means liberty; every form of star and beam or stripe of light means liberty: not lawlessness, not license; but organized, institutional liberty, – liberty through law, and laws for liberty!”

In grade school we had to memorize ‘Flander’s Field’, a poem written by a Canadian LtCol in 1915. ¬†It’s still one of my favorite, albiet sobering, poems.

IN FLANDERS FIELD

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
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

In less than a year from now, we’ll have the American flag on the summit of the world. ¬†We’ll do it to remember and honor those Airmen that have fallen in the line of duty since 9/11 and to rally those still serving. ¬†Once again, I smile to think about how good that beautiful collection of stars and stripes will look flying from above 29,000ft.

Here’s to remembering those that have gone before us in the service of our nation.

“Climb High, Fly Low” ¬†— Maj Marshall

 

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