Tag Archives: remembrance day

11/11/2019

11 Nov

Remembrance Day. A day where we pay our respects to those in the military, past and present, who have kept us safe and make it possible for us to live freely.

poppies

I’ll admit, I don’t take part in any of the ceremonies that happen around here, and I don’t watch the live feed from Ottawa. Most years I am working and do my best to pause at 11am to have a purposeful thought of thanks. On years I’m not working I avoid the craziness of the crowds and have a quiet, reflective time at home. I don’t think there is anything wrong with finding your own way to honour those who have protected our freedom, isn’t one of the bonuses of being free being able to choose how to do something?

Every year I do a bit of research in to Remembrance Day, and this year here is what I learned:

  • it was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth and was originally called Armistice Day
  • from 1921 to 1930 Armistice Day was held on the Monday of the week of November 11th, in 1931 a bill was introduced to observe Armistice Day only on November 11th, the bill changed the name to Remembrance Day, was passed and the first Remembrance Day was observed November 11th 1931
  • more than 2,300,000 Canadians have served in the military, and more than 118,000 have made the ultimate sacrifice

Whatever you are doing this November 11th, I hope you find time to send thanks out to the universe for those brave men and women who join the military, our country wouldn’t be what it is without them.

 

flanders field

Remember

11 Nov

Some poems, for Remembrance Day. Freedom is not free, the cost is high, please take a moment to honour those that fought, and still fight, to keep us free and safe.

remembrance-day-2

In Gratitude of Silence

By: Debbie Holick

Silent now the soldiers sleep, their tales long laid to rest.
I knew them not yet still I weep and place a poppy o’er my breast.

They were husbands, brothers, fathers, sons; so valiantly they fought.
On shores stained red,on hands and knees; it was our freedom that they sought.

Courageously they stood their ground but freedom carries a cost.
Thousands of men were wounded and countless lives were lost.

So in gratitude of silence and all those who have served,
sleep now, you have earned it. Your peace is well deserved.

remembrance-day

 

The Eyes

The eyes are all the same today,
Actually it’s the stare within.
The stare tells their sad, glorious tale,
Of just where they’ve all been.

It’s not a physical, worldly place,
That marks these men as brothers.
‘Tis a place in each and every mind,
That links them with each other.

Dark nights, cold days or searing heat,
Thick jungle or windswept beach-
Geography doesn’t bind these men:
‘Tis what they did beseech:

“Dear God; I’m scared and tired and sick.”
“Dear God; I’m hot…I am cold…”
“Dear God; I don’t want to kill no more,
Nor be here ‘til I am old.”

“Dear God; I’m so tired of losing,
And I’m tired of burying friends.”
“Dear God; Please bring these hellish war
To a quick and merciful end.”

It’s in their eyes, the cost of war;
Their eyes, their aged eyes,
They speak of fear and pain and death.
They speak of sad good-byes.

One minute friends are by their side,
The next they’re gone for good.
But you fight on. You must:
Consumed by guilt-the could, the should.

“It could be me, now lying dead,
Not him. This isn’t fair.
I should be with him, he’s my friend,
He’ll think I didn’t care.”

Those eyes. They saw men at their worst,
And at their best, as well.
Those eyes saw men risk life and limb,
In places worse then hell.

Those crinkled faces, years ago,
Were boyish, young and strong.
Now on this day, though resolute,
The boyish look, long gone.

November 11th, Remembrance Day:
Look at their eyes and see;
The boys that were-the men they are.
They fought so we’d be free.

But that’s the one thing they all lost,
War took their freedom away.
Though they came home, a part of them
Caught in the war, did stay.

One day a year they come as one.
Soldiers standing side-by-side.
To remember a past they can’t forget.
To remember those who died.

Do not begrudge two minutes,
For they’ve given all their lives.
And those who died? They’re legacy?
Their daughters, sons and wives.

They’re bent with age and hard memories,
You think-old folks in disguise.
Not disguise-Soldiers-one and all.
Look close: It’s in their eyes.

© Margot Leolyn Hedden November 11th 2011

Remembrance Day Poem

11 Nov

In Gratitude of Silence

By: Debbie Holick

Silent now the soldiers sleep, their tales long laid to rest.
I knew them not yet still I weep and place a poppy o’er my breast.

They were husbands, brothers, fathers, sons; so valiantly they fought.
On shores stained red,on hands and knees; it was our freedom that they sought.

Courageously they stood their ground but freedom carries a cost.
Thousands of men were wounded and countless lives were lost.

So in gratitude of silence and all those who have served,
sleep now, you have earned it. Your peace is well deserved.

Remembrance2015

Remembrance Day

11 Nov

remembrance-day-poem

I don’t have impressive, soul touching words to express my feelings about Remembrance Day. Poets, soldiers and many others have done far better than I ever could. Instead I leave you with an exert from a poem written by Laurence Binyon just after the retreat from Mons and the victory of the Marne. The poem is called For The Fallen:

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.

 

 

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