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Happyoldgit, November 11, 2007 in International Forum
We will remember them.
I've been away and missed this superb thread. It says so much about the LR4x4 community and I, for one, wore my forum rugby shirt with poppy in it with great pride. I had not expected to see poetry on the forum and have been very moved reading this thread. So I thought I would share this poem. It was written in Russian during WWII by Konstantin Simonov to his girlfriend, later wife, Valentina Serova and is called "Жди меня" - "Wait for Me".
It was narrated in translation by, I think Laurence Olivier, in the "World at War" series Episode 11 - "Red Star" :
Wait for Me
Wait for me and I'll return.
Only wait, very hard.
Wait when you are filled with sorrow as you watch the yellow rain.
Wait when the winds sweep over the snow drifts.
Wait in the sweltering heat.
Wait when others have stopped waiting, forgetting their yesteryears.
Wait even when from afar no letters come to you.
Wait even when others are tired of waiting.
Wait even when my mother and son think I am no more.
And when friends sit around the fire drinking to my memory, wait.
And do not hurry to drink to my memory too.
Wait, for I'll return, defying every death.
And let those who do not wait, say,
That I was lucky.
They will never understand that in the midst of death,
You, with your waiting, saved me.
Only you and I will know how I survived.
It's because you waited as no one else did.
They shall all raise a glass in Valhalla
Nothing is forgotten...
Nothing is ever forgotten.
I'm actually just reading 'Birdsong' by Sebastian Faulks, i highly recommend it.
took my 2 mins silence at 11
took my 2 mins silence at 11
me too, just has to be done when working on a military base.
I went to see the soldiers, row on row on row,
And wondered about each so still, their badges all on show.
What brought them here, what life before
Was like for each of them?
What made them angry, laugh, or cry,
These soldiers, boys and men.
Some so young, some older still, a bond more close than brothers
These men have earned and shared a love, that's not like any others
They trained as one, they fought as one
They shared their last together
That bond endures, that love is true
And will be, now and ever.
I could not know, how could I guess, what choices each had made,
Of how they came to soldiering, what part each one had played?
But here they are and here they'll stay,
Each one silent and in place,
Their headstones line up row on row
They guard this hallowed place.
Every year this thread is brought back to the top and on this 11th day of the 11th month I make no apologies for doing so again.
The full version of the poem is this.
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
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.
Mod’s feel free to delete this if you feel it is not appropriate.
As is correct and appropriate on Armistice day our thoughts and thanks are drawn to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield defending our country and others that were not able to defend their self’s.
I would ask that you also spare a thought for those who came back from the battlefield not with scars that show on the outside but the ones that are held within, the scars that have lead so many to feel that they have no other alternative but to take their own life’s, their memories are often tarnished by perceived shame of suicide, and what lead them down this path is forgotten, in the blur of alcohol or violence that often surrounds these things.
And to those of you reading this, who also carry these scars, I would like to say that things can get better and that dark place does not have to dominate your life. I know it does not seem like it but there are people out there who can help, they will not make the dark times go away but can help you understand how to find a way to cope.
I know the first and biggest step is to admit that you need help and you have got this far without someone telling you what to do, but believe me it is nothing to be ashamed of and something that people will not think any less of you for. The answer certainly does not lie at the bottom of a glass or in the pressure cooker that is locking your thoughts away.
How do I know this? Well it’s been eight years since I admitted I needed help and I will not pretend that things have been easy, but with the help of professionals I have learnt how to cope with the dark times. I have also learnt that PTSD is not something to be ashamed of it is not a sign of weakness, but just a sign that you cared about what you were doing in the first place.
I managed my two mins at 11am despite the surgeon sticking the veress needle into the IVC at a little after 10.15. They never make it easy for me on 11th Nov, but makes me think I still have it far far easier than an awful lot of breve souls.
We will remember them...
They gave then for what we enjoy now, never ever forget RIP
my great grandfather fought in the Boer War and then volunteered at the start of WW1 and was a prisoner of war in the Ardennes from 1915 til 1919 when he finally returned home .
He lived to be 93 and died in 1965
...........and right now an airliner has been shot down full of people completely unconnected to the conflict that ultimately released the missile while UN sanctuaries in Gaza are being shelled killing people without deciding who is "insurgent" and who is not ............
I will never forget
But I doubt it will ever make sense
this world we have created needs a f**king reality check ...........life is not about money , religion or location
That said I have travelled to the other side of the planet in my time and every person I met was I real human person so the dichotomy of our lives versus our "collective" goal is a BIG question ..........
.....peace and love peeps
not just the men to remember
I think it's a fine gesture for several forum members to take the time & trouble to post such moving prose. Went to our local village memorial today, huge turn-out of adults, young children (& dogs) but sadly I didn't notice many teenagers - all made possible by the police closing the road. Although only a B classification it's a busy through route just the same. The local branch of the RBL was parading as always, though some of the old boys are vey frail now they still do their best to march. Some of the leaves from the tree I was standing under started to fall during the 2 minutes silence, very poignant.
I was really pleased that the local school is encouraging youngsters to buy poppies; last week Leah came home with a letter from school advising that poppies would be on sale.
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