Monday, November 13, 2006

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

DD3 aged 8 was proud and privileged to take part in the community`s 11th November commemorations here in Blogsville on Saturday.

A group of children from her school, most from her class, led the singing of classic war-time songs for twenty minutes prior to the two minute silence and prayers, and the mayoral speech.

Despite unpleasant weather, there was considerable support from the community and a jolly good time was had by all.

A poignant moment was afterwards, when an elderly Army veteran, whose great-coat was emblazoned with a large number of medals, made a point of personally speaking and shaking the hand of each of the twenty-eight children who participated, and thanked them for remembering those who gave their lives, and those who sacrificed their long-term health for our freedom.

It is a hard-won freedom which many people seem to have little respect for, and in the case of New Labour, seem to be actively undermining, but we are determined that our kids at least will understand and will remember and will be thankful for what these brave folk did for us.

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 her 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 contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their 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

Laurence Binyon, published 1931

To The Fallen : Memory Eternal !
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They will certainly not be forgotten! As Sir Winston Churchill said of them 'This is your victory!'

Both of my grandfathers were veterans of WWII for the US Army. Although one has long been departed the other is still living.

About 15 years ago one of my grandfathers spoke of how toward the end of the war he was with a detachment that liberated one of the concetration camps, Dachau if I remeber correctly. Before he finished the house was so quite you could hear a pin drop. He finally had to excuse himself to wipe his tears.

The sacrafice and hardships those on the field and homefront endured, especially those residents of the then occupied Channel Islands will not have been in vain nor forgotten.

'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.'

May your daughters always remember this day. Yes, I believe There Will Always Be An England! May God bless them all!