Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Remembrance Day

I was one of the lucky ones.
I went to war and came back home.
No missing limbs, no missing eyes.
Reasonably sane I guess,
for all its worth.
So many cannot say this.
So many cannot say at all.
My father came back
disabled for life
still proud of his service.
His brother came back too
but not quite right
his problems challenged his happiness for life
he died alone
no one to hold his hand.
My uncle left his life in a field in Germany
his bomber couldn't make it home.
All these close to me were touched by war
and in their case a war for reason.
Many of my generation left their lives,
either completely or partially,
in South East Asia,
in the first modern war for no purpose.
Now their children are leaving theirs
in the second great useless conflict.
It is a tragedy twice over.

For all these who have and are sacrificing their lives in the honor of service whether the conflict is true and just or not.

I will remember.

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 (1872-1918)

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