Memorial Day Pinup

As we sit back on Memorial Day, gathering with friends, firing up the grill, let’s remember the sacrifice of all those members of the US military to provide us with this freedom.

And when the wind in the tree-tops roared,
The soldier asked from the deep dark grave:
“Did the banner flutter then?”
“Not so, my hero,” the wind replied.
“The fight is done, but the banner won,
Thy comrades of old have borne it hence,
Have borne it in triumph hence.”
Then the soldier spake from the deep dark grave:
“I am content.”

Then he heareth the lovers laughing pass,
and the soldier asks once more:
“Are these not the voices of them that love,
That love–and remember me?”
“Not so, my hero,” the lovers say,
“We are those that remember not;
For the spring has come and the earth has smiled,
And the dead must be forgot.”
Then the soldier spake from the deep dark grave:
“I am content.”

The poem quoted by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in a Memorial Day speech at Harvard in 1895 entitled “The Soldier’s Faith”. He cited this poem as “a little song sung by a warlike people on the Danube, which seemed to me fit for a soldier’s last word…a song of the sword in its scabbard, a song of oblivion and peace. A Soldier has been buried on the battlefield.”

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