Memorial Day 2016

Stars and stripes ripple in the breeze,
spirits from thousands past
breathing life into those folds of cloth.
The lone sound of Taps cuts through crisp air
bearing witness to their sacrifice,
the price they willingly paid
that we might live in freedom’s path.

american-flag-373362_1920Bjorn is tending the bar today at dVerse Poets’ Pub and asks us to write a quadrille (44 words) using the word “breeze.”  Taps is a slow haunting melody, traditionally performed by a lone bugler, at military funerals and ceremonies.  Today, May 30, 2016 is Memorial Day in the USA – a day on which we honor those patriots who died serving our country; and give thanks to all veterans who have served or are serving today.


47 thoughts on “Memorial Day 2016

    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 5:53 am

      It fit the day perfectly! Great prompt, Bjorn.


    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 5:54 am

      Sipping my morning coffee – so glad you enjoyed. It was a wonderful day yesterday!


    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 5:55 am

      They have a beautiful display at the Boston Commons — 37,000 Amerian Flags on a hillside — in tribute to the 37,000 lives of Massachusetts soldiers lost in battles since the Revolutionary War. Somber and beautiful at the same time.


  1. kanzensakura May 30, 2016 / 3:56 pm

    I wrote on Memorial day as well. Let the breezes continue to wave the flags and may we always remember. Wonderful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 5:56 am

      Thank you, Toni. Just having my first morning cup — company still all asleep – will meander over and do my reading now….yours shall be first my friend of the name I adore.


    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 5:57 am

      So nice to read your comment over my first cup. Thank you indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Grace May 30, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    A lovely tribute to a meaningful day ~ The song is truly haunting ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 5:57 am

      I still remember the “cracked” note of the lone bugler on the Arlington Cemetery Hill at JFK’s funeral.


    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 5:58 am

      Thank you Jilly. I often look to your commets to see how I’ve done! 🙂


  3. Charley May 30, 2016 / 6:25 pm

    First off: you’re welcome!

    spirits from thousands past
    breathing life into those folds of cloth

    Exactly the truth of it! It is our battle banner. Those thousands died so that our cause would not fall to the ground, our lines be overrun. These lines echo poetic lines from the age of chivalry. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 5:59 am

      I truly believe the American flag is a beautiful one — the colors and the arrangement — and on Memorial day it is inspiring as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 6:00 am

      Sasha, thank you for your poignant and sensitive reply.


    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 6:10 am

      Oh Victoria — thank you for sending me to this page. How meaningful the unfurled American flag must be for you — especially on Memorial and Veterans’ Day. I am even more glad I posted this poem on this day.

      I’ve always believed in the power of language….but there is another side to it as well. Overused language can lose some of its true meaning and its connection to the event(s) or object or happening to which the words refer. “the utter sacrifice” are words so often written and said on days like Memorial Day — or when someone is killed in the line of duty be they a soldier or a firefighter. The reporting of “casualties” is a euphemism to begin with — and also is so overused that our ears passively hear. So for me, having a father who served in WWII but came home to his wife and son — who had promised my mother “anything you want” when I get home — and she asked for a little girl and I became a “baby boomer” — two more over used words that we don’t equate with the background of how they came to be. We must always be mindful of holidays that are created to honor those who served.
      You, Victoria, are a legacy of your father’s spirit and determination and sensitivity and honor. I can only imagine the wonderful man he was, by simply getting to “know” you in this amazing place we call the blogosphere. Tipping my coffee cup to you this morning, Victoria.


  4. katiemiafrederick May 30, 2016 / 8:12 pm

    Breeze of Freedom Lonely
    Souls for Soldiers known
    only to God..
    Giving so much
    for LiFe’s LibeRty’s
    Justice and yes.. the
    pursuit of happiness..
    UNsung heroes of long
    near and far.. Soldiers
    Song for God Free
    no Glory..
    Free For
    ALL N ALL..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 6:11 am

      Thank you so very much for your kind words.


  5. maria May 31, 2016 / 4:37 am

    All hail the valiant souls who fought for freedom. Great tribute, Lillian!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 31, 2016 / 6:12 am

      Thank you, Maria. So glad you felt the tribute in this — we are so indebted to those who serve.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bryan Ens May 31, 2016 / 8:59 am

    Indeed, we need to remember, and be thankful for, those who paid the price for the freedom that we enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack May 31, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    it’s the “willingly” that forever strikes deep in the patriotic chest
    can’t even imagine that kind of courage
    that kind of sacrifice – never to be forgotten by those freely breathing

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian June 3, 2016 / 7:07 am

      Have had company for five days — wonderful wonderful visit. So now I shall get back to my reading. I do agree — the “willingly” is truly the most amazing, courageous and selfless atrribute here. Even in the days of the draft, once drafted, it was the doing that had to be followed.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala) June 1, 2016 / 2:42 am

    the price they willingly paid
    that we might live in freedom’s path.

    Most fitting tribute for the Memorial Day. More so done with such limited number of words Well done Lilian!


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mish June 1, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    A very patriotic piece. I really like “spirits from thousands past breathing life into those folds of cloth”, as if giving those who have fallen the honour of being the breeze.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian June 3, 2016 / 7:08 am

      Yes — one might say the “winds are the force of courage.” Glad you enjoyed.


  10. Rosemary Nissen-Wade June 2, 2016 / 1:37 am

    I guess it must be rather like our Anzac Day, when we also remember those who fought in all the other wars.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian June 3, 2016 / 7:09 am

      Yes — sounds very very similar. We actually have two days we celebrate our veterans (passed, past, and current): November 11 is Veterans’ Day — also a national holiday. And Memorial Day — the last Monday in May.


  11. othermary June 2, 2016 / 5:28 pm

    This is a wonderful tribute for Memorial Day. I find the image of the souls of thousands who sacrificed all billowing the flag so very touching. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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