Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day

By looking at this photo below you would think you were in the U.S.A. on a sunny day, but you would be WRONG you are in Waregem, Belgium for Memorial Day.

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.

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?

Belgium Army

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.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute to our lost solders who fought and gave their lives to free so many countries. The pictures are great, Joe's new camera takes good pictures. I love all the information you pass on to me.

Jill, Joe & Foxy said...

This is taken with his old camera...i didn't trust myself with the new one.

It was wonderful tribute and there were lots of americans there too.

Kate G. said...

Anne and Erin look just a little bit wet! I wish I could have been with all of you.

Jill, Joe & Foxy said...

We wish you were there too! How ever the ride home was pants, my sock and my shoes were all soaked!!