Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembrance Day

"Lest We Forget" mural - Lumby B.C. (click on photo to enlarge).

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. From Newfoundland to BC, people will be gathering at cenotaphs to honor the memory of those who have died in past and present wars. Many will quote the poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae.

Mr. McCrae wrote other poems about war as well. In poem below he speaks from the conviction that undergirded his soldiering: that the fighting would eventually lead to peace, making the sacrifice of the soldiers who died worthwhile.

The Anxious Dead
by John McCrae

O guns, fall silent till the dead men hear
Above their heads the legions pressing on:
(These fought their fight in time of bitter fear,
And died not knowing how the day had gone.)

O flashing muzzles, pause, and let them see
The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar;
Then let your mighty chorus witness be
To them, and Caesar, that we still make war.

Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their call,
That we have sworn, and will not turn aside,
That we will onward till we win or fall,
That we will keep the faith for which they died.

Bid them be patient, and some day, anon,
They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep;
Shall greet, in wonderment, the quiet dawn,
And in content may turn them to their sleep.

Read more of Mr. McCrae's poems online here.

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