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At St. Paul’s, Three Anonymous Pieces Helped Us Remember Together on November 11

November 16, 2013

The above pictures are of our Evening of Remembrance, which we held at St. Paul’s on the evening of November 11. For approximately two hours – through prayer, story, poetry, and song – we honoured the memory of all who’ve served and sacrificed in war to give us the gift of peace. Deep thanks to Doreen and Kerry Peters for organising this, and to everyone who participated.

Embedded below are three anonymous pieces that were shared during the evening.

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THANKYOU!!

Rise up fearless soldier,
and see your country free.
This is what you died for,
to save kids just like me. 

The dyed-grass in littered fields,
The poppies there do grow.
To serve a constant reminder,
So the world’s youth will know.

We give this special day to you,
to remember your comrades dead.
Know that you are never alone,
think no more fear and dread.

(I read this poem at our Evening of Remembrance. It was written by a Midsun student, and given to me by Barb Huntrods, who’d been this student’s teacher at the time)

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Why Do We Still March?

Why do you still march old man
With medals on your chest?
Why do you still grieve old man
For those friends you laid to rest?
Why do your eyes gleam old man
When you hear those bugles blow?
Tell me why you cry old man
For those days long ago.

I’ll tell you why I march, young man
With medals on my chest.
I’ll tell you why I grieve young man
For those friends I laid to rest.
Through misty folds of gossamer silk
Come visions of distant times
When boys of very tender age
Marched forth to distant climes.

So young they were, with blossom cheeks
Their eyes shone bright and clear,
Scant knowledge of this sinful world,
Thought nought of hate or fear.
Their laughter rang through strange bare rooms.
Hardships, they were soon to know
All they knew, was beyond their shores,
Was a deadly vicious foe.

They left behind their boring life.
They had nothing much to give
so they laid their lives on the line
so you, young man, would live.

With bayonet, gun and blossom cheeks
The innocence of their youth
They stood alone, with fearsome pride
And perceived the awful truth.
The truth they learnt, they had to die
(it’s not easy when you’re young).
The gods of war had chosen them
and stilled their youthful tongues.

The guns they crashed, the Stukas dived,
Shell tore their flesh asunder.
I smelt their blood, watched them die
The war lords claimed their plunder.
And as these warrior gods passed by
They smiled at their obscene death.
Gone were their apple-blossom cheeks,
Scorched by napalm burning breath!

We buried them in a blanket shroud,
Their young flesh scorched and blackened,
A communal grave newly gouged
In the blood-stained earth and bracken.
And you ask me why I march! Young man
I march to remind you all
But for those apple-blossom youths
You would never have known freedom at all.

(This poem was shared by Kerry Peters at our Evening of Remembrance. It is usually said to be anonymous, but occasionally is attributed to Bill Ridley)

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Within the dark chaos of a troubled world,
I will seek and find beauteous things.
I will seek beauty all of my days,
and in my quest I shall not be dismayed.

(These words were copied from St. Peter’s Church in Harrogate, England. Kathleen shared them with us. They’d been special words to her father, who was a Veteran. When her father died, Kathleen had a beautiful plaque made with his medals and these words. She brought this plaque along with her on Monday, and showed it to us. The photo above is of St. Peter’s and the nearby War Memorial.)

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Embedded below is the beloved World War II song, “The White Cliffs of Dover.” It was one of the many songs we sang together at our Evening of Remembrance.

From → All Posts, Music, Quotes

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