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Happyoldgit, November 11, 2007 in International Forum
Indeed. I watched the troops in Afghanistan (Helmund Provence) this morning taking the 2-minute silence.
Brave boys then and brave boys now.
Gone but not forgotten.
The certainly deserve the recognition for what they did, keeping our freedom and losing their lives in the cause.
I was marshaling at the Scorpion challenge and glad to take part in minutes silence at driver briefing before the comp started
We have some of our own veterans here this year for the 25th so it is even more significant than usual around these parts.
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,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
At our Remembrance Sunday service a guy called Gus Hales who was here in 82 stood up and recited this, he wasn't invited to and he wasn't supposed to be on the programme, he just did it, and I thought it was well worth repeating - it is possibly the most moving thing I have heard in a remembrance ceremony.
Every year on Remembrance Sunday
I sit in the corner of the British Legion Bar,
Dressed in blazer, shirt, Regimental tie
And polished shoes, with my head held high.
But deep in my mind, where nobody goes,
I see a wooden cross where the wind of victory blows.
“Three Cheers for Victory,” I hear the politicians say.
But you never asked me about my victory.
And, if they did, I would have explained it this way:
It isn’t your flags or emblems of war,
Or your marching of troops past the Palace’s door.
It isn’t Mrs. Thatcher on the balcony high,
Reaffirming her pledge to serve or die.
But it’s the look and the pain on a teenager’s face
As he dies for his country, In a far off place.
It’s the guns and the shells and the Phosphorus grenades
And the dead and the wounded in freshly cut graves
Or the grieving wife or the fatherless child
Whose young, tender life will be forever defiled.
Or the alcoholic soldier with a shattered mind
Who takes the suicide option for some peace to find.
Well, that’s my victory but no one knows
For its deep in my mind where nobody goes.
I've been away on course but did spend a few moments on Sun to remember friends and comrades. So many friends so many memories. Shame we can't sit and spin a yarn in the Sqn bar anymore.
WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM
Another year gone.
I know it's quite well-known, but I've always found Laurence Binyon's "For the Fallen" very evocative:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
it really upsets me that some people of my generatin dont know what rememberence day is about, we had 2 minutes at motocross this weekend and one lad said 'why do we have to have 2 minutes scilence' and the other said 'its SOMETHING to do with the war in iraq'.
its just plain ignorance.
I was at Alton Towers yesterday, they shut down all the rides for the two minutes. A great gesture I think, it was certainly surreal standing in the AIR station with nothing but the gentle hum of the ride to be heard.
There will be a 2 minute silence in my office today.
Im glad someone started a post, just been watching the cermony on tv and its amazing to see the 3 surviors and think what they have done for us and our country they deserve to be remembered.
Yeah, those 3 old boys are amazing.... quite odd to think that when they, and the few others around the world are no longer with us WW1 will cease to exist in living memory.....
We had a 2 minute silence at work today....
In Flander's Fields
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 Flander's 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, tho poppies grow
I had 2 minutes silence in my coffee shop today, it was a very moving and humbling experience to have about 100 people in a fairly small space, stop everything.
There were one or two tears shed, including myself; and one of my staff members who is only 22 - so just goes to show that some of the youth of today do know what today means.
Gone, but never forgotten.
One of the last surviving 'old boys' was crying when he was interviewed - what a terrible emotional scar to cary for 90-years.
We had a small service at work today. It was supposedly an informal thing - it was gratifying to see so many people turn up.
Just as another proof that some teenages do know what it is about and dont think of it as a chore: I'm nearly 18 i have paraded with my scout troop on rememberance sunday for all of the 12 years i have been in scouting for. I shed a tear or two on sunday as the last post was played in the church, i shed another today during the two minutes silence. I shed quite a few more when i read some of the poems in this thread.
The three left from WW1 are the toughest people in the world. They have had to live with the scenes of friends dieing around them for 90 years now, nothing even comes close to that. The day the last one passes away will be a Great loss to the world.
We will always remember them - from WW1, WW2 - we all Owe them so much that we cannot repay them; I just want to say thanks. and to all the others the have died for peace in the Faulklands, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and many others, sorry we cannot repay you.
On another point, i was very angry in for the fact that at school, they had the two minutes silence from 10.58 because it would more convenient to teachers :angry2: :angry2: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:
And thanks due to all the young army/navy and air cadets who have been active in the last few days in pretty cold weather collecting monies for poppies in our local towns and villages over the preceding few days - they've done their little bit too - clearly no where near the sacrifice made by all those in conflict but it was heartening to see young people just taking a bit of time out in recognition of what has gone before.
Here are the old boys in action....
Radio 1 did the full 2 min silence this year where as last year it didn't but they still didn't play the Last Post.
Surprising the distinct lack of people wearing poppies this year . Went for a meal in a pub the other day and there was about 50 or 60 in there and I was 1 of 3 wearing a poppy. Yet the poppy tins were at the till so all those that had a drink had a chance to buy.
the green fields of France
Well, how do you do, Private William McBride,
Do you mind if I sit down here by your graveside?
And rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone you were only 19
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916,
Well, I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or, Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?
Did they Beat the drum slowly, did the play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?
And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined?
And, though you died back in 1916,
To that loyal heart are you forever 19?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Forever enshrined behind some glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?
The sun's shining down on these green fields of France;
The warm wind blows gently, and the red poppies dance.
The trenches have vanished long under the plow;
No gas and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard that's still No Man's Land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man.
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.
And I can't help but wonder, no Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you "The Cause?"
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.
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