Wednesday, 11 November 2009

A Rememberance day tribute

This is the first year in the UK that we will be remembering all those who fought and died for us with no remaining survivors.
The last 3 survivors all died this year with the eldest at 113.
God bless them all.

by John McCrae

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 Keep the Faith
by Moira Michael, November 1918
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honour of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

Rouge Bouquet
by Joyce Kilmer
In a wood they call Rouge Bouquet
There is a new-made grave today,
Built by never a spade nor pick
Yet covered with earth 10 meters thick.
There lie many fighting men,
Dead in their youthful prime,
Never to laugh nor love again
Nor taste the Summertime.
For Death came flying through the air
And stopped his flight at the dugout stair,
Touched his prey and left them there,
Clay to clay.
He hid their bodies stealthily
In the soil of the land they fought to free
And fled away.
Now over the grave abrupt and clear
Three volleys ring;
And perhaps their brave young spirits hear
The bugles sing:
" Go to sleep!
Go to sleep!
Slumber well where the shell screamed and fell.
Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor,
You will not need them any more.
Danger's past;
Now at last,
Go to sleep!"
There is on earth no worthier grave
To hold the bodies of the brave
Than this place of pain and pride
Where they nobly fought and nobly died.
Never fear but in the skies
Saints and angels stand
Smiling with their holy eyes
On this new-come band.
St. Michael's sword darts through the air
and touches the aureole on his hair
As he sees them stand saluting there,
His stalwart sons:
And Patrick, Brigid, Columkill
Rejoice that in veins of warriors still
The Gael's blood runs.
And up to Heaven's doorway floats,
From the wood called Rouge Bouquet,
A delicate cloud of bugle notes
That softly say:
" Farewell!
Comrades true, born anew, peace to you!
Your souls shall be where the heroes are
And your memory shine like the morning-star.
Brave and dear,
Shield us here.

Remembrance Day - T’was Madness
By Peter Atkinson
Deep in the trenches and stenches they stand
Where their life’s in the balance, poised in fates hand.
The front line can make courage soon disappear
With the rage of the battle and the palpable fear.
Our troops line to die when the whistle is blown,
To a slaughter so vile in the killing zone.
What mind in command could consider it right
To march men with rifles to engage such a fight
Where opponents attack with such focused disdain
Meet machine-guns a-blazing; reap carnage insane.
T’was a war that was numb to a phalanx of death
Were the leaders perplexed; suffered intake of breath?
What contest deemed fair would plan such a match?
Where a soldier on foot would cross a mud patch
To a death that was certain as bullets would slay
Those Innocents ordered straight into harms way.
Christ, why was that ever considered to be
A fair contest? T’was madness and none disagree.

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