Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day/Remembrance Day

November 11th marks the commemoration of all of our military veterans. Thank you to each one who served us in the military both in our country and abroad. There are few left alive of the veterans of what was called "The Great War." In that conflict young men from Europe and North America laid down their lives in what was supposed to be a "war-to-end-all-wars." Spielberg's movie "War Horse" shows some of the hardships endured on both sides of that conflict.
After reading an account of a young Canadian officer who served in France, I was struck by the enormous number of young soldiers who never returned from that war. Seen from a modern perspective, lives were lost due to inadequate training, inexperience, and lack of  ammunition and know-how. In Canada the custom still prevails of wearing a poppy (usually made of paper). The poppy reminds all who see it of the sacrifices made by veterans, especially those who died in "Flanders Field:"

 In Flanders Field

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   (Canadian Poet and Veteran of World War I)

May those who have fallen rest in the eternal peace of God. May those who survive now receive respect, gratitude and support from all of us.

God bless all of our veterans.


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