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It's so little … but it's what I can do

Doing what matters most.
shelley column pic
Taking time to remember.

I wear a poppy because I want to remember.

The splash of red

symbolic of a place I have never been but whose stories I have been taught.

A poem committed to memory as a child

"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow…"

So I wear a poppy and I remember.


I attend a service because I want to remember.

Standing silently when asked

as emotions flood my mind.

What should I ponder in this moment?

I wish my thoughts were more profound

but I attend a service and I remember.


I stand at a cenotaph because I want to remember.

Glancing at names etched on plaques,

names of people I do not know.

People who walked the same ground I do today

but whose duty took them so far from home.

Now I stand at a cenotaph and I remember.


I read accounts because I want to remember.

To understand what can't be explained.

Bloodied fields.

Cold that cut to the bone.

Feet that never had a chance to dry.

I read accounts and I remember.


Yet I try to remember what I do not know.

But I take part

and I listen and learn.

Because when we learn, we know

and what we know we can remember.


Yes, I remember

Not as one who recalls, but as one who reflects.

Reflect on what I did not live through

Reflect on what I did not see

Reflect on what I have not experienced

But I remember as best I can

Because not doing so is not an option.


So I will remember

Little though it is

because the cost was too high for too many.

I will remember

because today…that is what matters most.