…they are not perished, but gone before

Formerly known as Decoration Day and observed on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day originated after our Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers.  In the South, various regions had their own days of commemoration, but by the early 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor All Americans who have died in all wars. By mid century Memorial Day was seen as an occasion for more general expressions of memory, whether the deceased had served in the military or not. On this day I remember all of them, but especially a man who overcame a few challenges to get into combat.

 

After a battlefield commission, he survived the War in the Pacific (including the New Guinea and Bismarck Archipelago Campaigns and the Invasion of Luzon at Lingayen Gulf) and returned to his homeland as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s 594th Boat and Shore Regiment.  Upon his return he married his sweetheart and fathered six children, of which I am proudly one.

Today’s selection, written and performed by Peter Skellern (and backed up by the choral group, Libra) was actually written to commemorate Remembrance Day, observed by British Commonwealth countries since the end of The Great War (generally on the 11th of November) to remember those who died in the line of duty.  On this Memorial Day may those whom we all have loved and lost, “Rest in Peace, and Rise in Glory.”

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Monday 28 May

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPh_87UkRFU

 in Peace, and Rise in Glory

For all who need comfort for all those who mourn

All those whom we cherished will be reborn

All those whom we love but see no more

They are not perished, but gone before

And lie in the tender arms of he who died for us all to set us free

From hatred and anger and cruel tyranny

May they Rest in Peace – and Rise in Glory

All suffering and sorrow will be no more

They’ll vanish like shadows at heaven’s door

All anguish and grieving will one day be healed

When all of God’s purpose will be revealed

Though now for a season lost from sight

The innocent slain in the blindness of  “Right”

Are now in the warmth of God’s glorious light

Where they Rest in Peace – and Rise in Glory

Lord give me wisdom to comprehend why I survive and not my friend

And teach me compassion so I may live, all my enemies to forgive

For all who need comfort for all those who mourn

All those whom we cherished will be reborn

All those whom we love but see no more

They are not perished but gone before

Lord keep them safe in your embrace

And fill their souls with your good grace

For now they see you face to face

Where they Rest in Peace – and Rise in Glory

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