The commemoration of Memorial Day began yesterday, with the 'flags in' tradition at Arlington National Cemetery. Tomorrow morning, I'll attend a flag placement at a small church cemetery in my neighborhood where Civil War, Spanish-American War, and Great War veterans are interred.
After that, let the backyard grilling begin. But, like Consul-at-Arms, I will be observing, not celebrating, the occasion.
Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.
- First stanza of Rupert Brooke's 1914 poem The Dead