1. Banzai

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

    Mar 31, 2007
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    Reading, UK

    Remembrance Day Thread

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Banzai, Nov 11, 2012.

    Across the Commonwealth today is Remembrance day -- the anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War, and a day to remember those who gave their lives in all conflicts. It is widely signified by the wearing of poppies, the flowers which grew on the battlefields when the guns fell silent.

    I make a thread like this on this day every year, just as a little gesture of remembrance and gratitude. Please feel free to leave whatever messages you like below.

    In Flanders Fields
    By Lt. Col. John McCrae

    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.



    (Extract from) For the Fallen
    By Laurence Binyon

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
    Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    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.
  2. BritInFrance

    BritInFrance Active Member

    Nov 7, 2012
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    Central France
    In France they wear the Cornflower (le bleuet) to commemorate Armistice Day.

    These flowers, like the poppies, continued to flourish, the only signs of hope that life could continue, in a land that had been ravished by bombs and chemical weapons. The blue cornflowers and the red poppies where also the only colours that could be seen in an otherwise desolate place.
  3. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Oct 2, 2007
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    Northeast England
    For me today is largely a day of remembering my grandfather, who fought in China in the 1930s, and across North Africa during WW2. He always told the best stories, and had a great sense of humor when telling them.

    Like the story of him flirting with Lady Lampson, wife of the British ambassador to Egypt and the Sudan. Or when he was in China and had to fight off a Japanese attack in a guard post with two friends who were uncontrollably drunk.

    Edit: The Lady Lampson thing is actually recorded in his regiment archives, with a picture of them chatting in public. Seems he got into some trouble over it.
  4. Eunoia

    Eunoia Contributor Contributor

    Mar 8, 2010
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    I was watching some of the Remembrance Sunday of the Cenotaph earlier and it just made me so sad. Especially when they showed a list of people who had died since the last Remembrance Sunday. Some who were young and around my age (early 20s), others in their thirties. The people who join the armed forces have to be so strong, brave, loyal, amongst other qualities. And those who had to fight in the world wars had to be even more courageous in a way as they were forced into it. I'm not sure if dying for your country is glorious, echoing what Wilfred Owen portrays in Dulce et Decorum Est (my favourite war poem), but that's not for me to judge. I just remember that those who died, and who are still in service, have had to go through so much and that is admirable.
  5. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Oct 2, 2007
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    Northeast England
    Agreed. I'm not much of a lover of the military pomp, and I'm in no sense of the word a patriot, but I am also aware that the armed services have one a heck of a hard job that deserves some respect. I'd happy shake the hand of anyone brave enough to sit in a foxhole. But still:

    I'm not a pacifist, war is sometimes necessary I think, but how I wish it wasn't seen as glorious.
  6. Solar

    Solar Contributor Contributor

    Jan 27, 2011
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    RIP .
  7. Trilby

    Trilby Contributor Contributor

    Jun 21, 2010
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    NE England
  8. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Oct 16, 2012
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    The Hero

    'Jack fell as he'd have wished,' the mother said,
    And folded up the letter that she'd read.
    'The Colonel writes so nicely.' Something broke
    In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
    She half looked up. 'We mothers are so proud
    Of our dead soldiers.' Then her face was bowed.

    Quietly the Brother Officer went out.
    He'd told the poor old dear some gallant lies
    That she would nourish all her days, no doubt
    For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes
    Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,
    Because he'd been so brave, her glorious boy.

    He thought how 'Jack', cold-footed, useless swine,
    Had panicked down the trench that night the mine
    Went up at Wicked Corner; how he'd tried
    To get sent home, and how, at last, he died,
    Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
    Except that lonely woman with white hair.

    Suicide in the trenches:

    I knew a simple soldier boy
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    No one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

    Lest we forget...
  9. Michael Collins

    Michael Collins Senior Member

    Nov 9, 2012
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    Rome, Italy.
    I'm sorry I didn't see this thread before.

    by Giuseppe Ungaretti

    Si sta come
    sugli alberi
    le foglie.


    They stand
    like leaves
    on the trees
    in autumn.

    Written in a trench in the Courton Woods, July 1918.
  10. evelon

    evelon Active Member

    Aug 26, 2009
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    I totally agee with that. I can respect the soldier, but I can't in any way respect war.

    While I do wear a poppy and quite definitely support those who are prepared to put their lives on the line to protect us, I find the giving of medals does more to glorify the battle than the soldier.

    These two lines sum it up:

    You worship decorations; you believe
    That chivalry redeems the war's disgrace. from the following poem by Seigfried Sassoon

    Glory of Women

    You love us when we're heroes, home on leave,
    Or wounded in a mentionable place.
    You worship decorations; you believe
    That chivalry redeems the war's disgrace.
    You make us shells. You listen with delight,
    By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled.
    You crown our distant ardours while we fight,
    And mourn our laurelled memories when we're killed.
    You can't believe that British troops 'retire'
    When hell's last horror breaks them, and they run,
    Trampling the terrible corpses--blind with blood.
    O German mother dreaming by the fire,
    While you are knitting socks to send your son
    His face is trodden deeper in the mud.

    Siegfried Sassoon

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