Sunday Anne, Erin and I attended the Memorial Day Service at Flanders Field American Cemetery in Waregem, Belgium. There are 3 different American Cemetery’s in Belgium that celebrate Memorial day here is a web to see more. http://www.aomda.org/index.htm
I heard about it last year and wanted to attend the service but some how we just didn’t get to it. I believe most American now a days just think of it as a long weekend. (me included)
It is strange to think that this little town every year RAIN or shine puts together a Memorial Day Service for Americans.
This is Erin getting soaked like everyone else (erin in the white pants)
This six-acre World War I battlefield cemetery is the final resting place of 368 Americans killed in October and November of 1918 in the final offensive of the war. This Memorial Day Ceremony is unique in featuring the school children of Waregem who sing the American Star Spangled Banner waving American flags, a tradition that began in 1923.
The school children singing as the rain started. How cute are they waving the flags?
Here is a small list of what the service consisted of:
Fly-Over, Missing Man Formation
United States Air Force
Speech by the Ambassador of the USA to Belgium
Speech by the Vice Admiral William D. Sullivan of NATO –US Representative
Speech by Yves Leterme –Prime Minister of Belgium
American National Anthem by the School Children of Waregem
Laying of Wreaths - Taps
Twenty-One Gun Salute
National Anthems of the United States of America and the Kingdom of Belgium
It was a wonderful way to spend the day even though it was Belgium and it poured, we were soaked but nothing compared to what the soldiers in the area went through years ago.
It's still raining even though the sun is out...the band is playing too and the service goes on.
Famous Poem - read by an American boy who attends International School of Brussels
In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.