Unfurl the flags, O Michigan! First of all states to remember,
To mark the day of those who’ve gone, in the glow of late May’s ember.
From Decoration to Memorial, the name, it has evolved,
Yet the essence of its purpose, in our hearts remains resolved.
Once upon the thirtieth day, now the last Monday we find,
The calendar bows to the rhythm of the nation, the rhythm of mankind.
In the pleasant early summer, when the air is warm and light,
We pause to remember those who gave their all in the fight.
O Captain! my Captain! their fearless spirits call,
Through the graveyards, through the parades, through the silence that befalls.
We honor them, the brave and true, who served the Stars and Stripes,
From every corner of this land, from every tribe and type.
Under the wide and starry sky, they sleep the eternal sleep,
The crimson poppies, the wreaths we lay, the promises we keep.
To the soldiers, the sailors, the airmen, the marines,
To every soul lost in service, to what freedom truly means.
Not for themselves, but for us, they gave their final breath,
In the land of the free, the home of the brave, they met their noble death.
Now, in the rustle of the flag, in the roll of the mournful drums,
We find the echo of their courage, and the beat of freedom hums.
This day, we remember, in the heart of spring’s sweet bloom,
Those who lie in Flanders Fields, in the silence of the tomb.
So, let us gather, and let us bow our heads in silent prayer,
For those who sacrificed their all, for the country they did bear.
O Michigan! O America! Forever in our heart,
The meaning of Memorial Day, a promise to impart.
To honor those who’ve fallen, to remember each brave face,
And the sacred oath they kept, when they stood in freedom’s place.
MEMORIAL DAY (1871)