Remembrance Day

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lordpendragon, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. Lordpendragon

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    [SIZE=+1]I DO NOT KNOW YOUR NAME

    I do not know your name, but I know you died
    I do not know from where you came, but I know you died


    Your uniform, branch of service, it matters not to me
    Whether Volunteer or Conscript, or how it came to be
    That politicians failures, or some power-mad ambition
    Brought you too soon to your death, in the name of any nation

    You saw, you felt, you knew full well, as friend and foe were taken
    By bloody death, that your life too, was forfeit and forsaken
    Yet on you went and fought and died, in your close and private hell
    For Mate or Pal or Regiment and memories never to tell

    It was for each other, through shot and shell, the madness you endured
    Side by side, through wound and pain, and comradeship assured
    No family ties, or bloodline link, could match that bond of friend
    Who shared the horror and kept on going, at last until the end

    We cannot know, we were not there, it's beyond our comprehension
    To know the toll that battle brings, of resolute intention
    To carry on, day by day, for all you loved and hoped for
    To live in peace a happy life, away from bloody war
    For far too many, no long life ahead, free of struggle and pain and the gun
    And we must remember the price that was paid, by each and every one
    Regardless of views, opinions aside, no matter how each of us sees it
    They were there and I cannot forget, even though I did not live it
    I do not know your name, but I know you died
    I do not know from where you came, but I know you died.
    [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=+1][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=+1]There will be peace:[/SIZE]
    • when attitudes change;
      when self-interest is seen as part of common interest;
      when old wrongs, old scores, old mistakes
      are deleted from the account;
      when the aim becomes co-operation and mutual benefit
      rather than revenge or seizing maximum personal or group gain;
      when justice and equality before the law
      become the basis of government;
      when basic freedoms exist;
      when leaders - political, religious, educational - and the police and media
      wholeheartedly embrace the concepts of justice, equality, freedom, tolerance, and reconciliation as a basis for renewal;
      when parents teach their children new ways to think about people.
    There will be peace:
    when enemies become fellow human beings.
     
  2. davidjh7

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    all I can humbly add is Amen
     
  3. BuddyBoy

    BuddyBoy Member

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    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
     
  4. Sergeant_Torpedo

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    I was trying to think of something meaningful and poignant to add to this thoughtful post. However, in humilityand some anger I will see the faces of those "important" people responsible for horrible untimely deaths at the cenotaph and I wonder. Thank you, LordPendragon, DavidJH7, and BuddyBoy
     
  5. dolf250

    dolf250 New Member

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    A day to remember all of those who fell under our flags. Lately, there have been an increasing number to remember who fell in the middle East. So many men (and now women) who sacrificed everything- those from the “war to end war” to the latest war...
     
  6. fortiesfun

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    Very touching thread. Thanks guys.
     
  7. Rubenesque

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    There's no denying I'm a proper softie and am moved by many many things, but nothing moves me more than the sight, on a Remembrance Sunday morning, of the brave veterans (and the wives or children of those who are no longer with us) marching through town to the local church for the service of remembrance.

    My grandad was a very brave soldier, of the Sherwood Forresters, and he was taken prisoner on his 21st Birthday in North Africa, he and some colleagues attempted escape three times. The final attempt saw them almost reach Switzerland (and freedom) but they were apprehended by some Italian soliders. He spent the rest of the war in Stalag IVb prison camp.

    <actually have tears in my eyes now>

    Anyway - to the brave men who won the war and the gutsy women who were left at home, I am grateful every day for the sacrifices you made, and will ensure my children, and their children are aware that their freedom is down to your heroic acts!

    Alfred Newman Marks 1923-1991 R.I.P
    My Grandad and my hero



    '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 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 condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    They mingle not with 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.

    Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
    ____________________________________________________________
     
  8. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Eulogy for a Veteran

    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there, I do not sleep.

    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.

    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you awaken in the morning's hush,
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight,
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.

    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there, I did not die.

    Anon.
     
  9. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Stunning LPD-

    I love the term "Remembrance Day".

    It's so appropriate. I'm with you Denise. For the Fallen captures it.

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old: [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]At the going down of the sun and in the morning [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]We will remember them. "[/FONT]
     
  10. Gisella

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    We remember you we miss you 365/4/7 for all the time you were gone...we waited for you...your family, your friends your country...we carry each other pictures in our hearts...be strong be safe come back to me/us...military families through centuries know the imense sacrifices and remember their soldiers. Our sons and daughters, our dad's and mom's our husband and wives, our lovers our dear ones come home, we miss you babe.

    YouTube - The Women Behind the Soldiers=


    :heart: soldiers in death and life must be honour for the sacrificies and their families too...Thank You!
     
  11. SpeedoGuy

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    November 11th is now called Veteran's Day in the U.S. Before the 1950s it was known as "Armistice Day" to commemorate the end of WW1.

    Thanks BuddyBoy for posting "In Flander's Fields." I did a bit of family research and it would appear one of my own ancestors fell at Ypres. Another did at Gettysburg.

    Thanks to all who served under the allied flags.
     
  12. speshk

    speshk New Member

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    Thank you, Veterans.
     
  13. B_Jeremy

    B_Jeremy New Member

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    Sometimes I fear the message of this day is getting lost.

    A big big big thank you to all the Veterans.
     
  14. Shelby

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    that's pretty sweet
     
  15. rawbone8

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    Humble thanks to those who have served. We owe so much to the sacrifices of the men and women who did their duty.

    Let's hope the living who sustained injuries and those needing medical care will get the benefits they deserve. There has been a determined undermining of eligibility in recent years. Not all of the wounds were visible. Untreated mental problems such as post-traumatic stress, depression etc. also deserve care and treatment.
     
  16. rawbone8

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    this is from Salon magazine

    Give me five more minutes

    I had always imagined with horror what it would be like to get the news that my son was killed in Iraq. Then it happened.

    Editor's note: This essay is adapted from "Timeless," a personal narrative published in "Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families."

    By Christy Miller

    Sept. 25, 2006 | On April 26, 2004, I woke up around 4:00 in the morning and turned on the television in my bedroom. At least 12 Marines had been injured, and by 6:00 a.m., reporters were saying that one had died. I typed Aaron a letter, as I'd been doing daily for several weeks, trying to sound positive. Outside of mentioning that we had one Marine down, I avoided the hard news of the day.

    It was around 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. when the two Marines drove up to my house. The noncommissioned officer began to approach me. It seemed to take an eternity for him to cross my lawn -- I think I must have walked some, gone to meet him halfway.

    He began, "Ma'am, are you Christy Miller? Can we go inside? We need to talk to you." His wasn't an easy job.

    "No, we've got to do this outside." Mine, still the harder.

    The other Marine, the officer, said, "Ma'am, your son was killed in action today in Al Anbar province."

    I said, "My son was killed in the firefight that's on the television right now. He was killed in Fallujah. There's been one Marine killed today."

    There, in that moment, that tiniest and longest length of time, there must've been a mechanical failure, an embodiment of someone's (it couldn't have been mine) heart and brain colliding.

    "Mine," I finished. Yes, the Marine was mine.

    My son, Lance Cpl. Aaron C. Austin, USMC Machine gunner, Team leader Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division was killed in action on April 26, 2004, in Fallujah, Iraq. He was born on July 1, 1982, at 8:53 p.m. central daylight savings time in Amherst, Texas. Circumcised and sent home on the Fourth of July, he was my breast-fed, blanket-sucking baby boy, a little Linus look-alike. He threw his blanket away when he was 10. God, how I wish for that blanket now. It surely would carry some scent.

    Aaron's company commander, Capt. Zembiec, wrote me right after it happened. He wrote, "Your son was killed in action today. He was conducting a security patrol with his company this morning, in enemy territory. His company had halted in two buildings, strongpointing them and looking for insurgents. A large number of enemy personnel attacked Aaron and his platoon at around 1100. Despite intense enemy machine gun and rocket propelled grenade fire, your son fought like a lion. He remained in his fighting position until all his wounded comrades could be evacuated from the rooftop they were defending ... We held a memorial service this afternoon in honor of your son. With the exception of the Marines on Security, every man in the company attended the service. Aaron was respected and admired by every Marine in his company. His death brought tears to my eyes, tears that fell in front of my Marines. I am unashamed of that fact."

    From the men who first told me the news, who had stood outside my home, compassionate Marines in dress blues, to those who entered my living room and placed before me the one remaining box of my son's life, and then, on bent knee, took out a smaller box from within the larger, and handed over to me Aaron's watch, the one removed from his body at the time of death &#8212; it is to these men that I owe so much.

    I began to wear Aaron's watch, which was still on Baghdad time. His watch became my watch. His alarm would go off at 3:24. Then again at 3:20. Aaron always said, "Give me five more minutes, Mom." This early alarm, its hidden meaning, meant only for him, for duty on a rooftop possibly, is 5:30 p.m. (the evening before) my time.

    When the battery goes dead on a digital watch &#8212; it's gone. Blank. Not even a zero. Aaron's watch stopped somewhere between late afternoon on the twenty-eighth of November and noon on the thirtieth. Since then, I've experienced the first Mother's Day without my son, his 22nd birthday, and the homecoming of his unit. More of the "firsts" will soon be behind me. I don't know if the seconds, thirds and fourths get any better.

    At times I believe I can learn to live a life without my son. After all, I must. There are other mothers who have lost their boys &#8212; car accidents, war, illness &#8212; who can shop for dinner at the local grocer's without the macaroni-and-cheese boxes suddenly causing them grief. But the memory of him is planted in everything around me. Inside of me. So much of him has been lost, is fading, breaking down. His blanket, his watch, his uniform.

    The military uses commercial washers to clean personal items before they are handed over to the families. Understandable, but it leaves a synthetic laundry smell. Aaron's scent is gone. These are the realizations, the moments I've most dreaded. And they come out of nowhere.

    I went through several rounds of "looking for him." Articles, pictures, his voice, things like that. He used to chew on the caps of pens, his dog tags, everything, so I saved a few things I found like that. You're not ever preparing for this day, so everything had pretty much been washed, given away, or thrown out when Aaron deployed. I did find his voice on a couple of tapes, including when he was in the third grade, and he was studying for a spelling test, spelling dinosaur words over and over. Then his voice for a few minutes back in '98, I think, and then, after his first trip to Iraq when a news station interviewed him. Each and every new little discovery is uplifting for a while, it lends hope, and then you remember why you're doing it.

    Then one day, I was in a closet, and I looked down and saw a pair of Aaron's house shoes, lizard-striped ones. The shoes brought a smile and tears and when I grabbed them up, and noticed a kind of grimy stain in the bottom, I sniffed, over and over. I cried, of course, but I was still so happy. It was the smell of his feet. No one ever expects that kind of smell to be a gift, but to me, that day, it was. Still, every once in a while, I go and get them out of his room. Now they sit by his bed, close to our two pairs of boots: jungle boots I wore in Panama, and his pair, from Iraq.

    The days have become different. Sorrow is a tile in the mosaic and flashes of grief still come. But I believe that time does heal. I think it teaches. The moments pass. I can't say how. It's not of my doing. Sometimes I question. Why has God taken the only child that remained? Left me with no hope for a grandchild? I'm certain there can be no more. No more children.

    And yet I have no particular animosity for my son's killer. He's a nameless and faceless combatant to me. Should I ever have the opportunity to meet him, I hope that I'd forgive him. To me, the buck stops with the Father. His power stings at times. But He's listened to me; perhaps He's even cried with me. And yes, I do know what I'm talking about here. It's a belief, man. Aaron's words. You either believe in God or you don't. Yes, I'd forgive. I do forgive. There is absolutely nothing I'd do to keep myself from spending eternity with God and Aaron.

    The words "forever" and "eternity" mean something to me now. Before, I wouldn't concentrate on their true definition, on their essence. I thought they were for later. Now, I have an aching need to know that forever and eternity started long before my time &#8212; way before Aaron, before the Marines came to my home that day.
     
  17. jakeatolla

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    I support our troops 100 percent and have the greatest respect
    for the Men and Women who choose to serve.
    Feeling a little partriotic just now, I decided to go on to the
    Canadian millitary web site and see what I could find about my family.
    They have a scan of my Grandfather's application form
    when he joined up to fight in World War I back in 1915.

    He made it through (obviously, or I would'nt be here !!!) three years
    of trench warfare fairly unscathed. God Bless him, although I never
    him.
     
  18. BuddyBoy

    BuddyBoy Member

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    I discovered something interesting some time back when I did the same. My grandfather was often in poor health and quite frail as a youth, but it appears he was so eager to enlist that had a friend or someone pretend to be him for the physical. Considering his medical exam lists him as dark skinned and about five inches shorter and details no lung trouble, it sure doesn't look like him.

    Despite his bum lungs, he survived being gassed (barely), but he carried both the physical and emotional scars for the rest of his life.
     
  19. Rubenesque

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    My grandad was only 15 when he signed up the first time, he lied on his application form and managed to get half way through his basic training before anyone realised what he'd done lol
     
  20. headbang8

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    For me, Remembrance Day is the most emotional of those holidays commemorating the service of those who fought. It's about one thing, and one thing only--remembrance of those we loved and whose memory we respect. It's personal rather than institutional.

    In the case of my family, there were four boys of military age in WWII, including my father. I think Dad had an easier War than both his elder brothers--in the Pacific as a medical orderly, rather than in Europe with my uncles. The younger of the two elder siblings (does that make sense?) served on the Western front in France. He won two purple hearts, and my cousin still has the SS and Luftwaffe flags he captured. He also recently discoverd two boxes of letters from my uncle to my aunt written while he was on duty--a reminder, if we need it, of the loneliness which active duty entails.

    Dad's younger brother was ready to be shipped off to the Pacific, when he was hauled out of the ranks to be told that he had three brothers in harm's way, so he would be spending his war stateside. A pre-emptive Saving Private Ryan maneouvre, I guess. This kind of disappointed him, first because of the lost glory, and second because the base in Alabama, where he was stationed, was a pretty miserable, lonely spot, too.

    I do feel for those young men. Like so many, they didn't flinch at the physical demands made on them, nor did they falter in their courage. But found it harder to meet the emotional privation, something we often don't acknowledge as a need in men.

    All four survived, but I could see their emotional scars. They were/are sensitive men, not prone to speak much. I wish they could have spoken more about it.
     
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