May 29, 2023 marks Memorial Day in the United States. Memorial Day is a special occasion for paying respects to American soldiers, seamen, and airmen who died in the wars of the United States. I marked the occasion in 2022 with a poem titled Memorial Day by Helen Leah Reed, printed in her 1917 poetry collection, Memorial Day and Other Verse. For the 2023 occasion, I will re-print the second poem from Reed’s patriotic series, Flowers for Brave Soldiers.

“Flowers for Brave Soldiers” by Helen Leah Reed

Flowers for brave soldiers,
Flowers for those who gave us
A country undivided.
Flowers for the dead!

With flags we are marking
Their last earth-dwelling.
Our hearts are bending
In gratitude,
While we are praying
That this our Nation
Pass save through peril,
Through deadly war.

Flowers for brave soldiers—
Flowers for those who loved us,
Flowers to their memory,
This fair spring day!
Photograph of an American Flag against the backdrop of the Brooklyn Bridge. N.A. Ferrell took this photo on March 26, 2007.
My photo of an American Flag taken on March 26, 2007. The Brooklyn Bridge makes up the background.