Thursday, November 16, 2006


Hero. My contribution to Sunday Scribblings.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we pause to remember those killed and injured in war. Those people who fought for our freedom. The often times very young men and women who have died on our behalf.

This year my brothers Air Training Corps (boys and girls aged 13-18) marched in my local town centre to honour those who gave their lives. I hadn't been to one of these ceremonies in a long time and I was moved to tears by the readings the priest gave, the playing of The Last Post and by watching the elderly survivors of the Second World War standing proudly, although now supported by sticks, wearing their medals and strangely never once shedding a tear.

I guess these former soldiers or volunteers have had many years to come to terms with their experiences, and maybe there are no more tears to shed?

On Rememberance Sunday 4 British soldiers, 3 men and 1 women were killed in Iraq. 3 of their colleagues were seriously injured. Their boat hit by a home made bomb whilst they were patrolling the waterways around Basra.

November 11th is a sad day and somehow it was made even worse by these deaths.

My condolences to anyone who has lost their loved ones in conflict.

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.
John McCrae


Blogger megg said...

This was lovely! I cry every single time I see or attend a Remembrance Day ceremony. I get goosebumps looking at the veterans. Why oh why haven't we all learned the lessons?! Sigh. Great post!!

8:47 PM  
Blogger Kerstin said...

Ironically in my hometown in Germany (Cologne) another event takes place at 11:11 on 11/11 - it is the official opening of the carnival season which has its finale next February. As much as I used to love carnival, Remembrance Day seems a more worthy occasion for this day. And I agree with Megg: it seems as though we never learn from these terrible times.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Rethabile said...

Wow! Funny that I should have posted along these lines, too. But then, who are the heroes, if not the folks who die for our arses?

11:36 AM  
Blogger AnnieElf said...

What breaks my heart is how many heroes we have. We have too many heroes and not enough young people growing old, finding each other, raising children together AND not one of them a future heroes. Poignant and heart-felt. I salute them all.

3:33 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

i went to (and then worked at) a boarding school that had a deep history in the military (the boys' side of the school uses the military system to teach leadership). anyway, i just wanted to say thank you for posting this poem. it is read at this school every year during the veterans' day ceremony. and every year (i have been to 10 of those ceremonies), i cry.

thank you for remembering.

6:12 AM  
Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Quite a beautiful post ... I love that poem as well. much peace, JP

5:17 PM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

Beautifully written tribute. My grandfather was on the Somme - but came home. Still, he might not have, and many of his comrades did not. Thank you for this.

7:46 PM  
Blogger blackdaisies said...

this teared me up ... remembrance day ceremonies always make the tears well up inside ... thanks for sharing :)

9:39 PM  

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