“Please wear a “forget me not” the lady said
And held one forth, but I shook my head.
Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there,
And her face was old and lined with care;
But beneath the scars the years made
There remained a smile that refused to fade.
A boy came whistling down the street,
Bouncing along on care-free-feet.
His smile was full of joy and fun,
“Lady,” said he, “may I have one?”
When she pinned it on he turned to say,
“Why do you wear a forget-me-not today?”
The lady smiled in her wistful way
And answered, “This is Memorial Day,
And the forget-me-not there is a symbol for
The gallant men who died in war
And because they did, you and I are free-
That’s why we were a forget-me-not, you see.”
“I had a boy about your size,
With golden hair and big blue eyes.
He loved to play and jump and shout,
Free as a bird he would race about.
As the years went by he learned and grew
And became a man – as you will, too.
“He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile,
But he’d seemed with us such a little while
When ware broke out and he went away.
I still remember his face that day
When he smiled at me and said, “Goodbye,
I’ll be back soon mom, so please don’t cry.”
But the war went on and he had to stay,
And all I could do was wait and pray.
His letters told me of the awful fight,
(I can see it still my dreams at night),
With the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,
And the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.
“Till at last, at last, the war was won –
And that’s why we wear a forget-me-not, son.”
The small boy turned as if to go,
The said, ‘Thanks, lady, I’m glad to know.
That sure did sound like an awful fight
But your son – did he come back alright?’
A tear rolled down each faded cheek,
She shook her head but didn’t speak
I moved away in a sort of shame
And if you were me you’d have done the same;
For our thanks, in giving, is oft delayed,
Through our freedom was brought – and thousands paid.
And do when you see a forget-me-not worn,
Let us reflect on the burden borne
By those who gave their very all
When asked to answer their country’s call
That we at home in peace might live
Then wear a ‘forget me not’, remember and give.