“And so what are you doing,
On this delightful new day?
Come spend it with me!
We'll have some fun! ... What do you say?
Our children invited us,
To an Assembly at school!
But I don’t know? ... Or perhaps …
We could just relax by the pool?
Shall we just stroll on down,
To the local town square,
Where I heard there are some folk,
Today gathering down there.
Yes! It’s November 11th!
So what ... anyway?
Just look at those yachts out sailing!
In that brisk breeze on the bay!
Oh, this land that we share,
How so lucky we all are!
Freedom and benefits galore,
No wonder migrants pour in from afar!
Yes, I agree! ... It’s such a glorious day,
No chance of rain ... not a sign!
Now I wonder why that small crowd’s,
Standing around that stone shrine?
Listen! ... The speaker's saying something,
’Bout those who gave us ... ‘our chance’ ?
Long buried somewhere at sea? Or in Asia?
Africa? Or here? Or in France?
Strange! ... He calls now for silence?
And a bugle’s just starting to play?
I had heard someone mention …
That this was some special day?
Over there! ... Aaahh! ... Young lovers! … See?
Under those umbrellas! ... At that sidewalk café!
Watching the passing parade, I suppose,
Let’s go sip a coffee ‘au lait’.
Shall we lunch at this restaurant?
Yes? ... Maybe oysters mornay ... as an entrée?
Mmmnn … yum! ... Or maybe indulge ourselves,
On a gorgeous gourmet buffet?
Now! ... What wine should we choose?
Of such things, one can’t be too blazé!
Perhaps a nice Merlot ... or a ‘Chards’?
Or ... a chilled cheeky Rosé?
Oh look! ... A flag’s flying at half-mast!
And flowered wreaths, placed on display!
Oh yes! ... How silly! ... Of course! …
I recall now! … It’s Remembrance Day!”
Remembrance Day is commemorated around the world with a minute’s silence at the 11th hour of the 11th month, as the anniversary of the Armistice in 1918. Many attend ceremonies, but the majority who remember merely do so with a gesture of quiet silence. There will always of course be those who remain ignorant or ungrateful for the sacrifices made by others. Such sacrifices have enabled them to enjoy freedom and life-styles that they tend to take so much for granted.
“People who fight in wars, be they volunteers or conscripts, expect to be paid,
pensioned and nurtured for their sacrifices. But people who do not fight wars …
even wars they approved of and perhaps encouraged ... tend to believe that those
who do, should perform deeds of combat as acts of patriotism. Non-combatants it
would seem, feel that soldiers should not trivialise their patriotism in a sea of complaints,
about old wounds suffered in battles long forgotten!”
- Anonymous WW 2 soldier from The American Soldier by S. Stouffer, (ed.), 1949.
“Keep on Remembering!”
- A plea by Lt. Phillip Shuler, at the Battle of Messines, June 1917, prior to being K.I.A.