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Remembering the fallen on the Common

Memorial Day flags on Boston Common

Emily Weisberg shows us the annual flag plantings on the Common by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund.

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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.

John McCrae, May 1915

(Interesting how in the poem he doesn't ask for peace or to an end to the fighting but instead has the dead insist that the living keep on with the quarrel.)

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Because the end of conflict or quarrel doesn't always mean peace. The Armenian "peace" with the Turks didn't work out to well for the Armenians.

Peace isn't the absence of conflict it is the presence of justice.

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Love this. It is a beautiful tribute.

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There are a group of us who will be removing the flags around dusk if anyone wants to see it. I know it's not very exciting but it's a respectful tribute to the fallen.

In the meantime, I highly encourage everyone to visit in person if you can. The picture is great but seeing it in person is very moving no matter how you feel about our troops, our nation or the state of the world today.

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I cannot think of the Americans and Iraqis who died in "Operation Iraqi Freedom" without also thinking that the Iraq War was not the result of an intelligence goof — rather, the Bush white house systematically misled the public about Iraq’s nonexistent WMD program, as well as Saddam Hussein’s link to Al Qaeda.

Just this week CIA Deputy Director and Bush’s intelligence briefer Michael Morell appeared on TV where he, under an amount of good cable news duress, admitted that the administration intentionally misrepresented intelligence.

I had a friend who died in Iraq. Her death is a direct consequence of the Bush white house lying to the American people. She should be at home with her family-- husband and son. Instead, she's buried in Arlington Cemetery..

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Memorial Day is all about BBQ, beach and a vacation day for many of us.

I suggest you visit this tribute in person. Then pause from taking selfies, and tell your kids and your neighbors exactly what each flag means. Reflect about it for a few minutes. And consider donating to Mass Military Heros fund, Wounded Warriors, DAV, or a similar charity that helps those who went to war for us and returned home, I jured or sick but fortunate not to be represented by a flag this weekend.

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I don't think my kids and neighbors are interested in taking a trip to the common so they can listen to me lecture them on the meaning of these deaths. Robert Gates said there are two lessons Americans could learn. First, We grossly overestimate our ability to shape events using the US military as the instrument. Second, we tend to think of the US military as decisive when it is not.

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Yup. Agree. All the more important reason to reinforce the lessons.

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I guess that was the way you and your friends were raised, but we've never gone to the beach on Memorial Day. And what is wrong with gathering with friends and family some of whom are veterans for a barbecue?

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Maybe if we entered fewer wars we'd have fewer dead to memorialize.

Praising our war dead after the fact doesn't do much for them.

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Maybe we shouldnt have fought the British.

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The person said fewer wars...not all wars.

Especially wars because one person has a personal grudge. The fact that Georgie W. isn't tried as a war criminal.....is criminal.

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The hottest place in Hell is for those which stand aside in times of great moral conflict.

Pacifism leads to genocide and slavery when otherwise good men resolve to do nothing in the face of unconstrained evil.

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