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Today is Memorial Day, a day in which we remember all who have died while serving in our armed forces. It seems odd to me that we wish each other “Happy” Memorial Day, when actually it is a very solemn remembrance.

Several years ago on my (old) blog, I posted this video for Memorial Day, and I still just love it. It is the wonderful & incomparable Judy Garland singing Over the Rainbow to our troops in 1943 for a Bob Hope Command Performance (Bob also appears briefly in the video). I hope you will take the time to watch it, and I hope it touches your heart the way it always touches mine. When I watch it, I imagine all of those young people, far away from home, wishing and hoping to come back safely to their loved ones. And I am always charmed by Judy’s reaction as she finishes the song, as if the entire time she is nervous about how she is doing, and then at the end there seems to be a rush of relief and joy as she realizes that she has (once again!) “nailed it.”

Decoration Day

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!
Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.
But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.
All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!
Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.
Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
                              — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow