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Friday, November 11, 2011

Lest We Forget


 I had thought of not posting today, just quietly remembering. There is nothing new to say about this day of Remembrance of those who have fallen in defense of the freedoms I now enjoy. But upon reflection, reminders are a way of keeping the faith, of testifying to the gratitude I feel. 

And so, I'm reposting this from last year.


In 1976 I spent the summer in Belgium. I frequently wore a red zip-up hoodie with a Canadian flag on the sleeve. Frequently while traveling the countryside people stopped me to comment on my flag. Older and middle-aged people bore in their faces some of life's hard times. They looked at my flag and without fail said, "We remember the Canadians - they liberated us." 

Those who lived with war's reality every day, in view of woods where soldiers fought and hid, in view of field torn still by mines and bombs, in view of buildings destroyed, and memories of lives lost never forget. 

And we, so far from war's reality, would do well to remember. Today soldiers from many nations serve their countries, and we who remain behind are so far from war's chaos. Political rhetoric aside, let us 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, May 1915

8 comments:

  1. That poem still moves me to this day. I remember memorizing it in school as a child and feeling the emotion of it then.

    Wishing you a quiet remembrance....

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  2. That must have been very special to be on the receiving end of gratitude for the things your country's soldiers did. I'm sure you were blessed to know. I've just been visiting a blog where Canadian vets were videoed as they told the stories of their WWII experiences...very moving.

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  3. You are absolutely right. We should be so grateful and feel so lucky for what all they did to preserve freedom and dignity.

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  4. We must never stop remembering, never become complacent. Those lives were given for us, for our children and grandchildren.
    Lovely to re read your post.

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  5. This is a beautiful message Lorrie. Thanks for sharing it with us again.

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  6. Some posts just cry out to be re-published.

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  7. I would dearly like to forget, do better myself and teach the world to do better.
    No matter how much we remember, no matter how often we mourn, we'll never learn.

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  8. Very touching, Lorrie, a thoughtful post.
    karin

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