Sunday, November 08, 2009

Remember the youth

They shall not grow old as we who 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.

Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them

Have a think about this.

It is said, and who am I to disagree, that the average age of the soldiers in World War II was 26.

Yes, 26.

So at 26 what is uppermost in the mind of the average male? Yes, that's right, sex. Now this could be said of the average 26 year old female, but I'm not female and I can't say for certain but will welcome comments from those better placed than me to agree or disagree.

So anyway, that's why this year, as a tribute to the youngsters who died for me and for you so that we might be free and be able to do all the things we now take for granted, I include the image on the right. With poppies. And a lady.

And I mean no disrespect.  Those who know me will know this to be true.

And for those who wish to know why we wear poppies....

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

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.

Inspiration for the poem

During the Second Battle of Ypres a Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2 May, 1915 by an exploding shell. He was a friend of the Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae.

John was asked to conduct the burial service owing to the chaplain being called away on duty elsewhere. It is believed that later that evening John began the draft for his famous poem 'In Flanders Fields'.

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