Today, we marched in the local Remembrance Day parade. We wore our poppies with pride. We marched past the gathered crowd that lined the roads. We listened to the Rector lead us in hymn, and prayer. We witnessed the elderly veteran, who rose from his wheelchair with steely determination to proudly stand, reciting John Maxwell Edmonds famous epitaph. We heard the Last Post ring true, followed by a heartfelt 2 minutes silence.
After the Reveille roused us from our thoughts, local teenagers carefully read the Roll of Honour. Then, beginning with the veteran and ending with some of the youngest participants, various community representatives including local dignitaries, Air Cadets, Scouts, Guides, Police Cadets, and St John’s Badgers all took turns to lay their wreaths at the War Memorial. Tokens of our eternal gratitude, and promises to never forget the human cost.
After the parade, having watched so many young innocent faces march cheerfully and dutifully, including my own children, I felt my heart lighten. No matter how rough my day, how hard my personal trials, my beautiful children are here, with me, in our peaceful country. I am grateful.
That heaven might heal the world, they gave
Their earth-born dreams to deck the grave.
With souls unpurged and steadfast breath
They supped the sacrament of death.
And for each one, far off, apart,
Seven swords have rent a woman’s heart.
– Marjorie Pickthall
I am grateful to all those heroes. They deserved better. They were all some mother’s child. Maybe they fought for their Monarch. Maybe they fought for their country. I think they fought for their families, whispering, “Thank God, please God, let them be safe at home.” All the tomorrows, all the dreams… all the blood-red poppies left unseen. But, we see the poppies, every year. We will remember them.
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
– Wilfred Owen