Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

Memorial Day never meant much to me until my daughter Clara became a Daisy and I attended our village's tribute to the armed forces. Every year all the Greenport Scouts -- Daisys, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts -- and the members of the American Legion march from our War Memorial to the village dock. They carry wreathes and bouquets of flowers along with the flag.





At the dock, where family and friends have gathered, the Pledge of Allegiance is said, followed by a verse of My Country, Tis of Thee. After the chaplain delivers an address and a prayer, the scouts sing "Nearer My God to Thee" while they solemnly cast their flowers into the water. When they are finished, a boy scout plays Taps on his trumpet, and, finally, another scout plays an echo of Taps from across the harbor.



This is the most beautiful and moving tribute to fallen soldiers I have ever witnessed. There's something about the song, sung by such sweet young voices, and the flowers floating out to sea, that always bring tears to my eyes.



Nearer My God to Thee by Sarah F. Adams

This song is said to have been played by the orchestra on board the Titantic as it was sinking.

1. Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
E'en tho' it be a cross
That raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee!
Nearer, my God, to Thee!
Nearer to Thee!

2. If, like the wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I'd be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

3. There let the way appear,
Steps unto heav'n;
All that Thou sendest me,
In mercy giv'n;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to Thee!
Nearer, my God, to Thee!
Nearer to Thee!

4. Then with my waking tho'ts
Bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs
Bethel I'll raise;
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee!
Nearer, my God, to Thee!
Nearer to Thee!

5. Or if, on joyful wing
Cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
Upward I fly,
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

3 comments:

Lana said...

That's so beautiful Sarah! And so wonderful that young people are learning what Memorial Day is all about. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Lana

Suzanne said...

Sarah~ that song is a favorite and so beautiful. What a lovely tribute. I love the photo of the floating flowers.

Lorraine said...

So beautiful, Sarah! Thank you for sharing....