homersimpson_esq -> We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 9:34:56 AM)
I always feel a little odd this time of year because while many others have relatives who fought in various wars - often grandfathers in WWII - I don't have any relatives who have been in the armed forces. Well, I do by marriage as my father-in-law was in the army, but not blood relatives. My paternal grandfather was a baker, and stayed on the home front, and my maternal grandfather was a miner, and also vital to the country here, rather than abroad. Many have stories their grandfathers or other relatives have told of war, but that aspect of my life is strangely missing. However, the debt we owe has never been underestimated by me, and while I'm a pacifist at heart, I can't argue the sacrifice men and women make for their country is meaningless - it isn't. In years gone by I'd always go to the Remembrance Day service and I loved that combination of the passion and the austere. There was always such pride as the various banners would parade by. It's occasions like this that I do miss going to church - not for the religious aspect, but for the sense of community that you get.
For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of 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 laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of 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.
Laurence Robert Binyon, 1869-1943