Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Graduation

I had another "graduation" today. Unlike my Bachelor's and Master's degrees, I attended the ceremony for this one.

I was tasked with a poem...

I had planned on writing a poem to read to you today, but that seemed too much like torture. Since we're here at Arlington, I thought a poem about another cemetery, established in Europe early in World War I, would be appropriate. This is In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae:

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.

The job of a security officer is often a thankless one. We will have boring days, and long days, and it will be easy to be complacent. But we have a responsibility to the many service members who lie close by, some of whom gave their lives for their country. We must honor their sacrifice by protecting those who live and work here. Thank you.