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Memorial Day lands on May 30 in 2022. Last year, I commemorated the somber observance mourning and commemorating the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces with a couple of passages from an essay by Theodore Roosevelt and a Memorial day poem. In 2020, I re-told the story of Carleton Burr, a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps who lost his life on the battlefields of France in the First World War. For 2022, I reprint a short poem by a certain “M. M.” that appeared in the May 25, 1880 issue of Harper’s Young People. The poem, Memorial Day Flowers, is a short piece that highlighted the significance of the occasion for the young boys and girls who read Harper’s Young People. The poem below is accompanied by the image it was published with in the magazine.
“Memorial Day Flowers” by M. M.
Blue violets open their saintly eyes, Red columbines bend and sway, While star-flowers twinkle in beds of moss, And, blooming, they seem to say, "We bring you the red and the white and the blue To welcome Memorial-day." So gather them, children, at earliest dawn, While yet they are fresh with dew, And we'll scatter them over the sacred mounds Where slumber our soldiers true; For we'll give them only the colors they loved— The red and the white and the blue.