“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.”

By: Jeff Miller

 

Remembering those who sacrificed

For over a hundred years, Memorial Day remains one of America’s esteemed patriotic observances. It is a time to reflect on those in the military who did not return home. Their valor and sacrifice afford us the freedom to enjoy our way of life. Memorial Day is steeped in traditions. These that honor the men and women who died while serving for the United States of America.

 

National Moment of Remembrance

Traditionally flags are flown, cemeteries are visited, and red poppies are worn. A lesser-known tradition is the National Moment of Remembrance. At 3:00 pm local time on Memorial Day, we pause for a moment of silence. Stop to offer a prayer or thought of gratitude for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

We Shall Keep the Faith

Moina Michael wrote the poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith,” inspired by “In Flanders Fields.” In November 1918, she made a personal pledge to keep the faith.

 

We Shall Keep the Faith

Oh! You who sleep in Flanders Fields,

Sleep sweet—to rise anew!

We caught the torch you threw

And holding high, we keep the faith

With all who died.

 

We cherish, too, the poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led;

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies,

But lends the luster of red

Of flowers that blossom above the dead

In Flanders Fields.

 

And now the Torch and Poppy Red

We wear in honor of the dead.

Fear not that ye have died for naught;

We’ll teach the lessons ye have wrought

In Flanders Fields.

 

The simple idea was to sell poppies as a remembrance. The money raised was to help families of soldiers killed or injured in WW1. The Memorial Poppies of 1918 was a groundbreaking movement supporting military families. Her legacy continues to this day.

 

Honoring the fallen in Mooresville at Liberty Park

The Town of Mooresville and The Exchange Club of Mooresville / Lake Norman also honors our fallen. On Memorial Day at 10:00 am, we gather at Liberty Park in Downtown Mooresville. A wreath will be laid in honor. There will be 33 American flags representing members of Richard’s Coffee Shop who passed away this year. John Hedley, a Vietnam Veteran and retired Army lieutenant colonel, will speak. The National Anthem will be sung, and Taps will be played. All are invited to attend. 

 

A pause to pay tribute – 3:00 pm

Let us also pause at 3:00 pm. Wear a red poppy to remind us of the spirit of the day. Visit Liberty Park in Downtown Mooresville. It is a day to pay tribute to those who died defending our country. Our freedom. Our democracy. Think gratitude and appreciation. Listen to stories and memories. Recognize their service and ultimate sacrifice. Display the American flag. Remember.

 

Coming together to remember

Let us put aside differences. No matter the political views, let us focus on those who gave their lives in the line of duty. Their commitment to secure and defend affords all of us great freedoms. This Memorial Day, let us embrace Moina Michael’s pledge and keep the faith!

 

 

Photos courtesy of Katie Stankiewicz

 

 

Katie Stankiewicz is the founder of Willow Equine and executive director of Soul to Soles Connection.

The Exchange Club of Mooresville / Lake Norman is a civic organization, who works to create a strong and united community. They have been serving the Lake Norman area for over 30 years, with a focus on Americanism, Community Service, Prevention of Child Abuse and Youth. If you or anyone you know have been looking for a way to connect and give back, join the club! 

Go to our website at https://mooresvillelknexchange.org/ for more information. Select “Join the Club” under the ‘Menu’ section for an member application. You can also email the club through the Contact Us’ menu selection. 

 

 

 

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