Lest We Forget

by Anna Blanch on November 11, 2009

 War Memorial, Canberra, Australia.             

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 1915

 Today, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the commemoration of the signing of the Armistice provides a focal point for the remembrance of all those who have died serving their countries or who have suffered as a result of war. It is a moment in which we remember the value of peace and the suffering that is endured in order to achieve it. It is not a valorisation of war, but it is a memorialisation of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

They shall not grow 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. Lest We forget.

The words, this stanza, is etched into my brain. A reflection of the years of remembrance services and the intensity of the words.

Now though I think of friends serving around the world. Be Brave, but Be Safe.

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