Echoes From the Campfire

My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it.  My marks and scars I carry with me, to be witness for men, that I have fought his battles who now will be my rewarder.”
              –John Bunyan (Pilgrim’s Progress)

    “He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.”
              –Isaiah 2:4 (NKJV)
         “That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
          Let him depart; his passport shall be made
          And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
          We would not die in that man’s company
          That fears his fellowship to die with us.
          This day is call’d the feast of Crispian:
          He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
          Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
          And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
          He that shall live this day, and see old age,
          Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
          And say, ‘Tomorrow is Saint Crispian’:
          Then will strip his sleeve and show his scars,
          And say, ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
          We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
          For he today that sheds his blood with me
          Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile
          This day shall gentle his condition:
          And gentlemen in England now a-bed
          Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
          And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
          That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”
                     –William Shakespeare (Henry V)

Perhaps the above should be kept for Veterans Day, for Memorial Day is a day to remember the fallen.  I’ve read several post on facebook, “don’t tell me to celebrate this day”, saying that it is for the fallen, therefore, a time of sorrow, remembrance, and tears.  But when I look at the above words, those who continue to live, those who did not fall will stand, show their scars and remember.  It may be with a cheer, it may be with a tear.  It may be leaning against a “wall”, it may be looking at a picture–but it will be a time of remembrance.
               Last Full Measure of Devotion
          “In the long and honored history of America
           There are names that shine like beacons in the night
           The Patriots whose vision gave us meaning
           Who kept the lamp of freedom burning bright.
           In the long and honored history of America
           There are those that paid the last and final price
           Who were called upon by chance, or desperate circumstance
           To make the ultimate sacrifice.
           A grateful nations bows it head in sorrow
           And in thanks for guaranteeing our tomorrow
           The last full measure of devotion
           That’s what they gave to the cause
           The last full measure of devotion
           And though they cannot hear our applause;
           We honor them forever and keep alive their story
           Pay tribute to their lives and give them all the glory
           The last full measure of devotion
           Beyond the call of duty were their deeds
           The last full measure of devotion,
           They gave themselves to serve the greater need.
           And for those who did survive
           And came back home alive
           They join in praise of comrades who were slain
           And highly resolved, most higly resolved
           That these dead shall not have died in vain.”
                     –Larry Grossman