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Eternal Refuge
Because Everyone Needs Dreams.
11th November 2008 
11th-Nov-2008 08:00 am
Adventure before dementia

Today is the 11th of November.   At 11a.m. today, 90 years ago, what became known as World War One finally ended.   By the end of that war, there was a huge amount of poetry that had been written, mostly by serving soldiers.

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.

Behind the cut are 2 such poems.  The first is a poem that most people in Britain know verse 4 ... it is quoted above, and at all Remembrance services, and on some memorials.  It was written by a Red Cross Medic, who was too old to serve, but spent time in Flanders ina voluntary capacity.  The second is written by a doctor, from the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, who was killed in 1918, at the age of 46.  The poem was found with his things, and on his death his mother had it printed in the paper - it is part of the reason why the red poppy was adopted as the symbol of the Armistace ... and why I am proud to wear my poppy for the first 11 days of November.

For The Fallen - by Laurence Binyon

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.

In Flanders' Fields - by John Macrae
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. 

Please take two minutes of your time at 11 o'clock to stop what you are doing and remember.

Remember -
  • Those who died in "The War To End All Wars" ... and in the 90 years since then.
  • Those who have been injured as a result of war and conflict.
  • Those who mourn.
  • Those who care for the injured.
  • Our governments - that they might find peace in the troubled areas of the world.
  • And finally, that we might have more tolerence of each other.
Please do take those 2 minutes today to remember ... I will be.

11th-Nov-2008 08:45 am (UTC)
I just got through posting something very similar to this!

Excellent stuff! I'm very pleased to see this somewhere else on LJ.

11th-Nov-2008 01:14 pm (UTC)
It is something I have always observed - and something I feel is important.

Off to read my f-list now.

*hugs* back
11th-Nov-2008 09:22 am (UTC)
Already done, sweetie. Remembrance Day is always observed on the 11th over here. All schools and pretty much all work places stop what they're doing at 11, and of course we also have the services at the war memorials.

I actually only just found out the other day that you guys have it on the Sunday--was quite surprised, but I guess it does make it easier for people to attend the services.
11th-Nov-2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
That tradition started after the 2dn World War so that the country could concentatre on re-building. So our national service was last Sunday when the Queen led the ntion and laid a wreath at the Cenotaph.

Although - over the last 15-20 years the general public are bringing back the 11th as an important date - you will read later how I commemorated my 2 minutes.

I hadn't realised how special a day it was for you though as I thought your special day was in April.
12th-Nov-2008 12:12 am (UTC)
We actually commemorate both ANZAC Day and Remembrance day.
11th-Nov-2008 09:45 am (UTC)
Today is a day of reflection for many.

My Grandfather in his German Army uniform.
11th-Nov-2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
I had looked for pictures of my grandfather as I am going to post about him in a minute, but Mum has all the copies ... I shall see if she can scan and e-mail so I can include it.

Thanks for sharing that picture.

So much hardship must never be forgotten
11th-Nov-2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
I have one of my father in his British army uniform. Poor sods, the horror they must have gone through.
11th-Nov-2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
Thats one of the reasons I am going to put some stuff in about my Grandfather - we mus never forget.
11th-Nov-2008 01:17 pm (UTC)

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:"

I think that must be one of the most moving lines in the English language.
11th-Nov-2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
It is so amaing - and can be used for all bereavement - but just means so much when you see those huge cemetaries.

11th-Nov-2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
We stopped at 11AM and stood in silence

It's important to remember
11th-Nov-2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
Remembrance is so important - We must never forget.
11th-Nov-2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
We must never forget.
11th-Nov-2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
It is so important that we don't forget at any time at all.
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