April 15, 2013

Do we find the cost of freedom/Buried in the ground?

A field of poppies, in central Israel (2009)
Today, in Israel, at 11 am, the siren will sound for two minutes nationwide calling us to stop, listen, and remember the nation's fallen troops and victims of terrorist attacks. 

I wrote this post on Memorial Day in the USA, in 2009. Its subtext, that we are called to address the forces that drive men to war, holds for me today in Israel and everywhere, every day.

Find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground.
Mother Earth will swallow you;
Lay your body down.

It's the refrain of an old Crosby, Stills & Nash song by Steven Stills that I first heard it in the early 1970s. Today, I was humming it while listening to Bob Edwards interviewing on XM radio several members of the Navy’s Third Medical Battalion, which served alongside the Third Marine Division during the Vietnam War.

For this is Memorial Day weekend, and tomorrow we pay tribute to our service men and women. Whether they died on native soil or overseas — in German forests or on British coasts, in the jungles of Vietnam or atop the mountains of Afghanistan, or in the sands and urban jungles of Iraq, today, we are called to remember them all. And, while we honor those who sacrificed their lives responding to their country's call to duty, we are called to address the forces that drive men to war.

Reworking the Crosby, Stills & Nash antiwar anthem
A couple of years ago, deep in the southeastern U.S., a young man heard the Madrigal Choir of Oldham County, Kentucky singing the old Crosby, Stills & Nash song. And it so moved him to post to You Tube "This ... little tribute I made for America and her troops."

Watch the video (4:32 minutes). The lyrics are below the screen.

Daylight again,
Following me to bed.
I think about a hundred years ago,
How my fathers bled...

I think I see a valley,
covered with bones in blue.
All the brave soldiers
That cannot get older 'been
Askin' after you.

Hear the past a callin',
From Armageddon's side.
When everyone's talkin'
And no one is listenin',
How can we decide?

Do we find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground?
Mother Earth will swallow you;
Lay your body down.
(Repeat x2)

Lay your body down...
Lay your body down....

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