1. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Remembrance Day

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Banzai, Nov 8, 2009.

    Today, in the UK, is Remembrance Sunday, which is marked by ceremonies of remembrance for those who died in the two World Wars, and all wars.

    It is the nearest Sunday to Remembrance Day (11th November), and I thought it appropriate to make a thread for this day. So this is it. A thread out of respect for those members of the armed forces of all countries who have given their lives in all wars, to protect their countries.

    I don't know if this day is an event in countries outside of the Commonwealth, but the principle is universal.

    '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.
    '
    -Ode to Remembrance, from "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon.

    '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.
    '
    -"In Flanders Fields", by Lt. Col. John McCrae


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  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think in America they have Veteran's Day. In Canada, it's always the 11th. People like having the kids in school so they are guaranteed to attend something. The university and college in Kingston cancel classes for an hour so we can have a ceremony.
     
  3. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was so moved by the poem "In Flanders Fields" I looked up a special Avi for this week.

    In the U.S we call it Veterans Day and it is always observed on November 11. Our schools are out, as it is a special time we reflect on the great sacrifice given by so many men and woman. I find it truly humbling.
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    As the daughter of a retired R.A. officer and relative of many serving personnel, thanks for this reminder, Banzai. I watched the Rememberance Concert at the Albert Hall the other night. For those who don't know, it ends with poppy petals falling from above--one to commemorate every man and woman who fell in the world wars. They go on falling for a long time. Of course, everyone was thinking of troops in action at present.
     
  5. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the US, we have Memorial Day for those who died in service of our country. It honors the sacrifice of "the few" (to borrow Winston Churchill's words) in the minds and hearts of "the many".

    Veterans Day honors all who have served our nation, living and dead. It's a "healing" holiday that provides veterans with a sense of being appreciated.
     
  6. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is right, NaCl, I forget that we live in the US and understand the difference. Thank you for clearing it up. :)

    My son being in the service has made me appreciate the gift of what all our service men give and have given. He shared a cool story with me last night, he was driving off the Cape and a car slowed down beside him. (Paul has a Coast Guard sticker in his back window) He turned to see what they wanted and the passenger held up a handwritten sign that read, "Thank you for serving our country. We appreciate all that you do." Then they stretched an American flag over the window. He told me he never tires of the thanks he receives. He teared up over the phone....they just lost a Helo, last week. He is still tender over it.
    I wish we could all give some respect and appreciation to the ones who sacrifice their family, friends, and overall happiness to do what they do. It really does mean a lot, to them as well as their families.
     
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  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like the idea behind Veterans Day.
    Of course, as there are less survivors of the WWs (the last survivor of WW1 died this year), Rememberance Day is gradually becoming not only a celebration of rememberance for the dead, but also thanks/appreciation for those who have served in the past, and people currently on active duty as well. And it also takes in the medical services: people like nurses and stretcher bearers (my great uncle was killed in Flanders as a medic, he was a 'conshie').

    On the subject of poems, I love the Thomas Hardy poem 'Drummer Hodge' that pre-dates Rupert Brooke's 'Foreign Field', which it's often compared with (If I should die, think only this of me; / That there's some corner of a foreign field / That is for ever England.)
    'Drummer Hodge' is a very 'honest' kind of poem with no grandeur to it which makes it speak more for today imo. It was written at the time of the Boer War (1899-1902).

    They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
    Uncoffined – just as found:
    His landmark is a kopje-crest
    That breaks the veldt around;
    And foreign constellations west
    Each night above his mound.

    Young Hodge the Drummer never knew –
    Fresh from his Wessex home –
    The meaning of the broad Karoo,
    The Bush, the dusty loam,
    And why uprose to nightly view
    Strange stars amid the gloam.

    Yet portion of that unknown plain
    Will Hodge forever be;
    His homely Northern breast and brain
    Grow to some Southern tree,
    And strange-eyed constellation reign
    His stars eternally.
     
  8. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    A Chlanna Cuinn, cuimhnichibh
    Cruas an am na h-iorghaile:
    Gu h-àirneach, gu h-arranta,
    Gu h-athlamh, gu h-allanta
    Gu beòdha, gu barramhail,
    Gu brìoghmhor, gu buan-fheargach,
    Gu cròdha, gu cath-bhuadhach,
    Gu dùr is gu dàsannach,
    Gu dian is gu deagh-fhulang
    De Chlanna Cuinn Cèad-chathaich

    It seems that every nationality of the British Isles thinks it was the only one involved in the World Wars; probably not the best way to record our history. Still, at least we know that the history is recorded. That poem is almost six hundred years old, and was written at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411. It's far more popular than most Gaelic WWI poetry, which is why I've posted it.

    It's not about celebration, or even remembering soldiers killed in conflict, but it's to do with their achievements, and what was gained. It also talks about the reality of war, and the contradictions that war represents:

    Children of Conn remember,
    Hardihood in times of strife:
    Be attentive, audacious,
    Agile, ambitious,
    Be bold, beautiful,
    Brawny, belligerent,
    Courage, clever,
    Combative, deliberate
    Destructive, enduring,
    The children of a hundred conflicts​


    I'm not going to write the full version, it's just a list of adjectives, and gets boring to read if it's in English, because it doesn't rhyme.

    But hopefully it makes some sense. It probably will to any soldiers here.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I can think of nothing else to say but thank you.

    Our world is not perfect, and sacrifices continue to happen every day in the effort to
    protect and improve our ways of life.

    Ways of life.

    Plural.
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Gallow, I'd love to hear you read the original version of that poem!
     
  11. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    I posted a video on Tir nam Blog that I'll try and find. I read the full version, which is about three times as long as what I posted here. The best I can do until I find the video (which shouldn't take too long, unless they've rearranged the website again) is to attempt to show you how it would be pronounced. It's just spoken, by the way, there's no singing:

    A Klanna Koon coo-him-nivitch,
    Cras annarm na hor ghall
    Ga har-nee, ga hanta,
    Ga hollam, ga hlanta,
    Ga beeyowda, ga barr-ar-va,
    Ga bree-mor, ga boo-year-ga
    Ga cr-ow-dah, ga ca-voo-ay-a.
    Ga door s ga das-unn-a
    Ga jan s ga dea-foo-leng
    Je Klanna Koon Cyood Kat-ah​


    If you're still interested, and have quite a bit of free time, I think the best way of hearing it in the Islay Gaelic it would have been written in is one of the History of Scotland programmes.

    A search for the author's name, Lachlan Mor MacMhuirich, should give you some results, although most of them will probably talk more about his family, and the Battle of Harlaw.

    If you want the full version, PM me ;)


    Anyway, so I haven't just hijacked an important topic, what's everyone here doing to celebrate (if that's the right word) the event? A few people I know got everyone's fireworks, and lit them on the beach (before anyone asks, that sort of thing is allowed here, at least in practice, if it's not near any buildings), but others have gone around the battlefields and ruined villages. I did that once, it's amazing to realise how much destruction has been caused in a small area.

    Has anyone else done anything, or is it something that people watch on television where you are?
     

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