“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.”
Laurence Binyon, For The Fallen
“All we have of freedom, all we use or know –
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.”
I know what you’ll say.
I know you’ll shake your head.
I know your pride will cloud your agreement.
You’ll say I’m wrong…
Or you’ll simply be dismissive…subjecting me to a land of ignorance and deplorables.
But never the less… there are just some things that I believe our cousins from across
the pond get right…so much more so then we do ourselves.
And one of those things is the pausing of the day in order to remember…
A Queen, clad in black, sporting the tri bloom of the red poppy.
A stalwart and determined 93-year-old monarch flanked by wreaths of red poppies.
A usually stiff upper lipped emotionless woman who stops to wipe away a single tear.
All because she remembers.
But the question is, do we?
Perhaps she remembers more clearly because she has lived on the soil where
wars have been fought.
Or that her family has borne the brunt of carrying an ancient Nation during those wars.
Our soil has, on the other hand, been spared.
Other than our own war of division and now a new odd war of terror, our land has remained
basically untainted by world wars.
However, we cannot say the same about our people.
We have sent countless numbers of young men and young women toward the sound of gunfire rather
then holding them tightly in our arms, safely back home.
Some of them returned, some did not.
For those who did and have returned, they have done so changed…
both physically as well as emotionally.
And as long as humans have wars…this sad reality will continue.
(US wounded at Omaha Beach / US Army file)
(image courtesy American Grit)
Call it what you will.
It is a specified day in November, always the 11th, in which the British Commonwealth,
Canada, the European Nations, Australia, New Zealand, The US…
each pause to mark the recalling of the sacrifices made…
sacrifices that were readily and freely offered so that our collective nations might remain free.
Originally it was a day to mark the end of WWI—it was on the 11th hour of the 11th day
of the 11th month that the war ended when the Germans signed the Treaty of Versailles.
Sadly and most ominously little did the world know then that that treaty would actually usher
in a new and even larger horror—only to follow suit not long after…
A more terrible horror than the first…
And so thus the UK, who marked Remembrance Day yesterday on Sunday with the laying of
poppy clad wreaths on tombs, monuments, and graves, now remember two world wars.
Perhaps one of the more poignant moments during yesterday’s ceremony in London was when
the Queen’s wreaths were placed on the Cenotaph.
The Cenotaph is an empty tomb and monument in London that is a physical and tangible reminder that
not all soldiers come home…as many physical remains still lie elsewhere…
on foreign soil, long forgotten.
Buried or merely lost to the decay of time.
And so we Americans will pause today, on this Monday, November the 11th, to offer our
Banks and the Postal services will be closed.
Some schools and businesses will close.
Some communities will have parades.
As a president lays a wreath in Arlington at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
(courtesy Conservative Daily News)
But I fear that this nation of ours will not unite in its remembrance.
It will rather remain divided.
Say what they will about their monarchy, seeing their Queen shed tears during her public
remembrance of those who gave their all will draw the British closer, not further apart.
Our Nation will continue to throw caustic jabs at her President.
Her governmental leadership will continue insulting and publically hating one another.
Some in leadership will continue to cry out, hoping to drown out the somber markings
with their own shouts for socialism and that of antisemitism and progressive liberalism…
All of which are the makings of the unforgiving black hole that only aids to usher in the very
thing we now pause to remember…
that of broken nations, wars and eventual loss.
Her people will continue attacking one another over perceived political wrongs.
There will be little in the way of a national coming together in order to remember.
The bias will be heard and seen throughout the newsfeeds.
And so yes, I believe the United Kingdom, who has her own wealth of woe, as Brexit comes to mind,
does a far better job standing united in order to recall and to remember those that
they have loved and lost.
There are a few lessons this proud nation of ours still needs to learn…
A humbling remembering is one of them…
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.
by Major John McCrae, May 1915
Well said, my fellow American ❤️
Thanks— is it snowing in your neck of the world? I watched the Green Bay game night and saw their snow
We had some too but it’s gone today. The high tonight is going to be five. Here we go again😩
We’re getting freezing rain tomorrow— high 42 low 23– you still scheduled for blasting on Thursday?
Yes, so we m playing I safe and not going outside needlessly for a while. My s. Carolina daughter invited me to their home for thanksgiving but I had to say no. I will have the stint removed on the 26 so it doesn’t seem wise to travel. How are you?
Stint? To bust kidney stones?
They blast the stones but need to place a stint so the debris can pass through easily.
I went to the doctors today— got a shot, antibiotics and my favorite, cough syrup!!!!!
Would that be Jack Daniels or Southern Comfort!
But the doc gave me steroids
But the cough syrup 🥳
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Sobering and much needed thoughts for this Veteran’s Day morning. Thank you Julie.
Thanks Tricia— I think we need to reset our focus
Very well said. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that, on Memorial Day, we remember those who lost their lives in war, and on Veterans Day we remember those who came back and are still with us. I gather the British Remembrance Day is different from our Veterans Day. J.
Thank you—theirs is rooted more in the rememberance of the sacrifices and ending of WWI, hence the date, the poppies and the Flanders poem—and WWII now falls in that time of rememberance.
I copied this poem (yet another version – credited to anonymous), but Kipling wrote a version, slight different wording, of it.
God and the soldier
All men adore
In time of trouble,
And not more;
For when war is over
And all things righted,
God is neglected –
The old soldier slighted.
love it! Love Kipling—thank you for sharing Mark 🙂
All the pictures are hard to look — but the weird pictures seem to trouble me most— or perhaps the images from the concentration camps of WWII
Thank you for this post Julie
Thank you Jim for serving and for the gift that you got to come home
Wow phrasing it like that…hits home
And that was “ WWI pics trouble me most”— but my phone felt the need to say weird and so perhaps the images are weird because they are the spoils of war