Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Memorial Day

I'm sure that back in England last Sunday was Memorial Day or perhaps it will be next Sunday.  It used to be a pretty big deal when I was growing up with the sovereign placing a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.  As the armistice for the first world war ended hostilities at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month so one minute's silence was preserved throughout the land.

For a few weeks prior to this event volunteers are out and about selling cloth poppies to mark the carnage that occurred on "Flanders Fields," the site of all the trenches.  I remember once in a fit of naughtiness telling a lady vendor that I wouldn't buy one as it would only encourage them to do it again.  She was rather offended.

The following lines were always said at the services held around the country, and although they were originally written for those who died in WWI, they are as well said for all our fallen.  Veterans Day here is on Thursday, the eleventh of the eleventh.

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 shall remember them, we shall remember them.

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