Thursday, May 26, 2011

Last Stop USA - A Memorial Tribute

As Poet Laureate, Orangetown New York, I will have the honor of presenting at the Memorial Services planned for this upcoming weekend. Readings will give tribute to all who have served the cause of freedom and all who presently have taken up the gauntlet.The tribute will be at the statue called, "Last Stop USA," a most touching memorial, standing in the last spot United States soldiers stepped foot before embarking to Europe. Off this very pier in Piermont, New York, is where 40,000 United States troops passed per month destined for the shores of France.

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.

Inspiration for the poem — In Flanders Fields

During the Second Battle of Ypres a Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2 May, 1915 by an exploding shell. He was a friend of the Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae.

John was asked to conduct the burial service owing to the chaplain being called away on duty elsewhere. It is believed that later that evening John began the draft for his famous poem 'In Flanders Fields'.


  1. nice. great selection of the poem...and enjoy the reading...

  2. Hello Brian, Thanks much. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Memorial weekend. So appreciate your stopping by.