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REMEMBRANCE DAY

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On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we will wear red poppies and silently remember those who died that we and our children might live with justice in peace and freedom.

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.

In Flanders Fields was written in World War I, on the field of battle in 1915 by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD, Canadian Army (1872-1918).

Cenotaph in London

The Cenotaph, London

Image: Ministry of Defence

Men and women from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, South Africa, Rhodesia, India, and Nepal gave their lives to fight tyranny in two world wars in the 20th century and in other conflicts since.

Once a war has ended, many wonder at the cost, the almost unimaginable human cost. Those who fought and survived sometimes find it difficult to live when remembering lost friends, and those born afterwards can scarcely imagine the suffering of men, women and children, whole families and cities and countries enveloped and destroyed by brutal dictatorships.

We long for peace. Can there be peace without freedom?

Remembrance Sunday and the silence observed on 11 November at 11 am recall the sacrifice of thousands of British and Commonwealth servicemen and their wives, mothers, daughters and sisters. The men fought. The women ran canteens, nursed the ill and injured, and insisted on driving ambulances onto battlefields to retrieve their wounded men.

Remembrance Day honours the service of all British and Commonwealth soldiers in war and peace.

They shall not grow 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.

(The Fallen by Robert Laurence Binyon)

 

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008 David Abbott & Catherine Glass