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I was born, I'm currently living, and will eventually die. After that I face my judgment, and we'll talk then.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

In honor of Memorial Day, when we celebrate those brave men and women who have gone before us and died for our country. Many have done this, from all walks of life. Rich and poor, whatever their nationality, whatever their religion. It is a day to honor sacrifice, to recognize triumph.

Is it wrong that I turn now to an Irish poem?

The Irish have this inherent ability to capture emotions in ways one never thought possible. If anyone has captured the phenomenon of heroic patriotism, it is the Irish. One could easily spend a year reading Irish poems, stories, and songs that praise Irish patriots and patriotism.

Don't worry. I won't do that.


Today I just want to share a poem with you, one that captures Patriotism. Grant it, the poem deals with Irish Patriotism, namely the 1798 Uprising, but it still captures the sentiment of Patriotism throughout the world, especially in America.

Lest we forget. . .

“The Memory of the Dead” (1843)

- John Kells Ingram

Who fears to speak of Ninety-Eight?

Who blushes at the name?

When cowards mock the patriot's fate

Who hangs his head for shame?

He's all a knave, or half a slave,

Who slights his country thus;

But a true man, like you, man,

Will fill your glass with us.

We drink the memory of the brave,

The faithful and the few:

Some lie far off beyond the wave,

Some sleep in Ireland, too;

All, all are gone; but still lives on

The fame of those who died;

All true men, like you, men,

Remember them with pride.

Some on the shores of distant lands

Their weary hearts have laid,

And by the stranger's heedless hands

Their lonely graves were made;

But, though their clay be far away

Beyond the Atlantic foam,

In true men, like you, men,

Their spirit's still at home.

The dust of some is Irish earth,

Among their own they rest,

And the same land that gave them birth

Has caught them to her breast;

And we will pray that from their clay

Full many a race may start

Of true men, like you, men,

To act as brave a part.

They rose in dark and evil days

To right their native land;

They kindled here a living blaze

That nothing shall withstand.

Alas! that Might can vanquish Right-

They fell and passed away;

But true men, like you men,

Are plenty here today.

Then here's their memory-may it be

For us a guiding light,

To cheer our strife for liberty,

And teach us to unite-

Through good and ill, be Ireland's still,

Though sad as theirs your fate,

And true men be you, men,

Like those of Ninety-Eight.