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A new kind of Memorial Day celebration

LIHU‘E — As Memorial Day approaches, Jim Jung, chaplain for the American Legion, Post 54, Kapa’a Kaua‘i suggests a creative way to commemorate those who have died serving in the United States military in leiu of traditional celebrations.

Governor’s proclamation for Stay-at-Home and 14-day self quarantine does not expire until May 31 and Memorial Day falls on May 25.

Instead of the fanfare and the gatherings, Jung has started calling American Legion members and those connected with servicemen and women, and has been singing to them.

“I’ve called the members whose telephone numbers I have and sung, with their kind permission ‘The Impossible Dream,’” Jung said. “Now it’s time to do something different.”

Anyone who would like to take part in the Memorial Day phone call project to join in the activity. Jung also suggests reading the following poem to honor servicemen and servicewomen in the U.S. military:

In Flanders Fields

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.


Written by Canadian physician, LTCOL John McCrae, on 3 May 2015, after presiding over the funeral for a friend and fellow soldier, this poem is the most quoted poem of World War I. It was used to recruit soldiers and sell war bonds. The reference to poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers was a memorial symbol for those who died in combat.

I believe it’s fitting to respectfully share the foregoing with you this Memorial Day, especially since we are unable to share poppies because of our quarantine.
Source: The Garden Island

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