Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I will remember them....

Listen to the last post here.

The Red Poppies...

Flanders... Australians at war.

Remembrance Day (11 November) marks the anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War (1914–18). Each year Australians observe one minute silence at 11 am on 11 November, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.

In Flanders fields, by the Canadian officer Lieutenant Colonel J.M. McCrae (1872–1918), is another popular recitation. McCrae was a professor of medicine at McGill University before the war. A gunner in the Boer War, he served as medical officer with the first Canadian contingent in the First World War and wrote this poem at the second battle of Ypres in 1915. It was published anonymously in Punch. McCrae was wounded in May 1918 and died three days later.

In Flanders fields - John McCrae (1872–1918)

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.

For the fallen - Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Visit the Australian War Memorial site, if you are ever in Canberra please, spare the time to visit this amazing place.

Lest we forget.


stackja1945 said...

One 23-year-old bank worker said she had "no idea" it was Remembrance Day. "What's the whole poppy thing about anyway?"
Poppy in danger of losing its appeal

Old Retired Petty Officer said...

Kind of sad that the youngsters have no idea,,,,about a lot of things.
I lived in Alberta from the age of 14 to 16, grades 9, 10 and 11. I saw the most moving Remembrance Day/Memorial Day/Armistice Day ceremony ever on the CBC from Ottawa and the War Memorial/Tomb of the Unknown across from the Houses of Parliament. It was when the entire country pretty much came to a stop at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month as the Prime Minister and the Governor General laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown at the Memorial. I was 14 those 41 years ago and I still remember it vividly. On occasion I try and use that as an example of what the day should be.

kae said...

Hi Stacks and Old Retired PO.
I learnt about the poppy at school, in both infants and primary school. We would have a service for both Anzac and Remembrance day. That was about 12 years of commemorations. I'm 51 and haven't forgotten what it's about.

What the hell do they teach in school now? It's two days a year to teach the children what it means... how hard is that.

I'll have to ask my Mum, she's a teacher and she still teaches the old stuff.

The silly bint who sugggested that the poppy symbol needed to be modernised is your typical traditionless, history-starved, me-gen, self-loving product of modern life. I wonder if the parents know what it all means and would they be unimpressed that she was so clueless?

Someone else's war? They don't know much at all, do they?