Remembrance Day

On this day, steeped in history
Flows once more the blood of heroes,
Those who by misfortune
Of birth, ill luck or destiny,
Found themselves young men in times of War,
And with what little of their life remained
Made good so none could say-
They did not give all when country called,
Turn back from the fray,
Or leave bloody duty to other men.
They stood and fell
In fields of France,
Mountains of Italy,
Buried in the desert sands in a land they never knew
But for war.
They fought and died
For nought but pay and pride,
Yet served a greater cause-
That we might sleep without fear,
That the world would sail on better course
And evil men would flee rather than fight these men,
Who do not tremble at the Grave
If it is well earned with grace,
Without complaint or demand,
Save that we remember them.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. charlesmashburn
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 14:15:28

    A wonderful tribute, mb! Very well said and beautifully written.

    Reply

  2. Old Jules
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 16:20:36

    Yep, all those German, Japanese, Italian, Vietnamese, Czech, Soviet, and other heroes definitely need remembering.

    Reply

    • mbwilliams
      Nov 11, 2011 @ 17:43:00

      Although the 11th November remembers all those who fell in the Great War of 1914-1918 and by extension the Second World War as well, it was not my intention to celebrate the victory of any country over another. This piece is about facing fears and pushing through, about giving your life to something bigger, whatever that cause may be. Such men desire remembrance wherever they are born. Just thought I should make that clear. Thank you for commenting!

      Reply

  3. Bhaga
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 17:49:51

    Thank you for this beautifully expressed reminder; it must have been heartfelt for it moved me. And so did the small photos. I almost looked for the faces of J.R.R. Tolkien and his friends among them; he lost two of his three closest friends in the Battle of the Somme, just as you say. We are lucky that he at least survived.
    Also in ‘Chariots of Fire’ there is a moving evocation of those of the previous Cambridge youth generation who died in the war.

    Reply

    • mbwilliams
      Nov 13, 2011 @ 18:54:03

      Thank you Bhaga! Sorry I haven’t been over to your blog in a while. Will be popping by when I get back home at the end of this week. Busy busy life! Thank you for your kind comments.

      Reply

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