Tag: Armed Forces

Veterans Day & Remembrance Day: Honoring & Remembering

Today in the United States it is, “Veterans Day”; in Canada and the Commonwealth Countries it is, “Remembrance Day”.  Although similar in sentiment, Veterans Day is defined as a day to honor those who have fought for the United States in all wars.  In Canada and other Commonwealth countries, Remembrance Day is to remember the soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in duty to their country.  I feel the day is the same, no matter which side of the border we are standing.

My family has a very deep connection to the military. My grandfather served in WWII, my brothers served in the Canadian Armed Forces, and I have worked on a number of military bases.

My Mum recently put together a series of poems she wrote in honor of soldiers across the world. She is going to publish them in a book next year.

With her permission, I am sharing a few of them with you in this post.

 

ONLY THEY KNOW

“Grandpa, tell me about the war.”

Asked in innocence,

opening a well

of sorrow,

of memories buried,

too painful to recall.

But some leak through.

Faces of the past,

smiles, cigarettes

and blood –

too much blood.

The well is capped,

The present returns,

The subject is changed.

But when a veteran

greets another veteran,

even before a word is spoken,

they know.

 

A PLEA FOR REMEMBRANCE

They were young men once,

Eager and strong,

Proud to serve their country.

Their numbers are dwindling now.

Eyes have dimmed,

They don’t hear so well

And often they live in the past

Where glory lay.

But today

Will they be remembered?

Look beyond what you see,

Look beyond infirmity,

Don’t let it be

Out of sight

Out of mind.

 

LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY

Here I am in another land

Lying beneath their soil.

Hell, I didn’t even speak their language

But I had to come

Knowing the freedom I always took

for granted had been wrenched

away from them forcefully,

brutally.

The anger at the injustice,

the horrors that I saw,

the faces of my buddies faded

as I felt the peace of my passing.

And look, someone is kneeling

and leaving a flower,

saying a prayer.

I haven’t been forgotten

After all.

 

A PRAYER FOR PEACE

Peace!

What a wondrous word!

What a goal to strive for

by men and women of goodwill.

And when it comes,

As it surely will,

All heaven and earth will rejoice.

Is it just a pipe dream?

Will it ever be?

The way is known by many hearts

when words of peace are spoken.

But words without action

are empty promises

And so, my prayer is this:

That hearts unite

in the desire for all to have

freedom, and justice and joy

To know their world is no longer

a frightening place

And there is truly enough for all.

Enough food, enough shelter,

enough love, enough peace.

We have had our fill of sorrow,

and loss, and grief

It’s time for Peace.

The time is now.

 

Thank you so much, Mum. I really appreciate you allowing me to share these incredibly moving poems.

**If you would like to share my Mum’s poems, please contact me & I’ll be happy to provide you with her contact information. 

Please join me and my family in honoring soldiers across the globe on this very sacred and meaningful day. And grandpa, wherever you happen to be, you know we appreciate your service; we will never, ever forget.

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