Remembrance Day - lest we forget

Discussion in 'Open Discussions' started by Murray, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Murray

    Murray Well-known Member Staff Member

    Remembrance Day is the day Australians remember those who have died in war.

    In 1918 the armistice that ended World War I came into force, bringing to an end four years of hostilities that saw 61,919 Australians die at sea, in the air, and on foreign soil. Few Australian families were left untouched by the events of World War I - 'the war to end all wars' most had lost a father, son, daughter, brother, sister or friend.

    At 11am on 11 November we pause to remember the sacrifice of those men and women who have died or suffered in wars and conflicts and all those who have served during the past 100 years.

    Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps who in May 1915 when after watching the death of a close friend in Belgium wrote the following poem:

    In Flanders Field

    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.

    The wearing of the poppy to keep faith began when an American, Miss Moira Michael, read the poem "In Flanders Field" and was so greatly impressed that she decided always to wear a poppy to keep the faith. Miss Michael wrote a reply after reading "In Flanders Field" entitled "We Shall Keep the Faith":

    We Shall Keep the Faith

    Oh! You who sleep in Flanders fields,
    Sleep sweet - to rise anew;
    We caught the torch you threw;
    And holding high we keep the faith
    With those who died.

    We cherish, too, the Poppy red
    That grows on fields where valour led.
    It seems to signal to the skies
    That blood of heroes never dies,
    But lends a lustre to the red
    Of the flower that blooms above the dead
    In Flanders Fields.

    And now the torch and poppy red
    Wear in honour of our dead
    Fear not that ye have died for naught
    We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
    In Flanders Fields.

    The Ode - The Ode or The Ode of Remembrance is taken from Laurence Binyon's poem For the Fallen.

    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.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2015
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