The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month it ended. At least the first one ended then. Today is for remembrance.
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.
From Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen, written in September 1914.
Irishmen of a certain colour do not wear poppy’s to remember. They deny their forefathers who fell in Flanders fields because it became politically incorrect to do so. In recent times there has been moves to change this and memorials to the Irish dead are being honoured now. Irishmen of the orange tint do remember and in fact they drape their remembrance in sectarian colours. Both tribes have done it badly in the past.
I remember because my heritage demands it. Both my grandfathers were wounded several times but survived the slaughter. My remembrance is taking shape in the form of the novel I’m writing now. It is the next in the history trilogy: Beloved Warriors and it follows on from The Prairie Companions. (This is the cover design for that)
My remembrance is not uncritical or nationalistic but personal and empathetic for the pain of the lost and those whose loved ones didn’t come home to make life possible for later generations. If my grandfather’s had not come home and my father had not come home from Burma then I’d not be blogging this. So yes I give thanks and do them honour.
This poem was written as a response to those who protest at soldiers funerals.
Taking a Stand
I ask you to stand with me
For both the injured and the lost
I ask you to keep count with me
Of all the wars and what they cost
I ask you to be silent with me
Quietly grateful for our lot
As I expect you’re as thankful as me
For the health and life we’ve got
I ask that you wish them well with me
All those still risking their all
And I ask that you remember with me
The names of those that fall
I expect that you are proud like me
Of this great nation of ours too
So enjoying all its freedoms like me
Support those upholding them for you
I hope that you are hopeful like me
That we’ll soon bring an end to wars
So you’ll have to stand no more with me
And mourning families no different from yours
‘Til then be thankful you can stand with me
Thinking of those who now cannot
For standing here today with me
At least we show they’re not forgot
John Bailey © Copyright May 2011 From http:www.warpoetry.co.uk