In Flanders Fields

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In Flanders Fields

Post by Gord » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:50 pm

In Flanders Fields

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.
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Re: In Flanders Fields

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:34 pm

And to the "forgotten veterans", thank you too!

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Re: In Flanders Fields

Post by Pyrrho » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:45 pm

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Re: In Flanders Fields

Post by Aztexan » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:46 pm

I found and wanted to share these two poems here. I don't know who wrote the first one, but it accompanied the photo below and I was moved to tears in remembrance and gratitude after reading it:
They shall not grow 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 shall remember them

This one was written by Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, MC, who was killed in action at the Sambre-Oise
Canal in France on November 4, 1918 at the age of 25.

Anthem for Doomed Youth
By Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk, a drawing-down of blinds.

Thank you to all who served
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Re: In Flanders Fields

Post by Poodle » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:35 pm

I don't sleep well at the moment so I tend to be up at ungodly hours. This morning at one of those ungodly hours, I spotted Gerald (one of our less well gifted denizens) raking up fallen leaves from the village green. We have a couple of wartime RAF heroes so the RAF come here every year to head a memorial service on the green. But there's no money to pay anyone to tidy the green up. Step in Gerald.
I've pulled every ounce of my influence today to make sure everyone knows about Gerald's nocturnal activities. We do still have heroes.

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Re: In Flanders Fields

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:00 pm

And speaking of the centennial...

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. “I was only following orders.” Right, “Blackjack”! Eichmann couldn’t have said it better. Pershing was a monster seeking his own glory and wasting the lives of ordinary soldiers. (The last episodes of “Blackadder goes forth” give a very different impression of Haig, by the way. Well, this was comedy, so it may not have been accurate.)

And I just received an e-mail pointing out that by far the highest casualties in the British army were among the Scots. They were 10% of the population and 13% of the army, and they were normally the ones sent out to make the initial charges. (Cynics say these brave, suicidal charges can be explained by their desire to get away from the bagpipes. Just a bit of humor for this solemn occasion.)

Here's a teaser, part of a longer essay written on the occasion of the Armistice. I recommend reading the whole thing. You can easily locate it with Google:
George Santayana wrote: TIPPERARY

What a strange pleasure there is sometimes in seeing what we expected, or hearing what we knew was a fact ! The dream then seems really to hold together and truth to be positively true. The bells that announced the Armistice brought me no news ; a week sooner or a week later they had to ring. Certainly if the purpose of the war had been conquest or victory, nobody had achieved it ; but the purposes of things, and especially of wars, are imputed to them rhetorically, the impulses at work being too complicated and changeful to be easily surveyed ; and in this case, for the French and the English, the moving impulse had been defence ; they had been sustained through incredible trials by the awful necessity of not yielding. That strain had now been relaxed ; and as the conduct of men is determined by present forces and not by future advantages, they could have no heart to fight on. It seemed enough to them that the wanton blow had been parried, that the bully had begged for mercy.

It was amusing to hear him now. He said that further bloodshed this time would be horrible ; his tender soul longed to get home safely, to call it quits, and to take a long breath and plan a new combination before the next bout. His collapse had been evident for days and months ; yet these bells that confirmed the fact were pleasant to hear. Those mean little flags, hung out here and there by private initiative in the streets of Oxford, had almost put on a look of triumph ; the very sunlight and brisk autumnal air seemed to have heard the tidings, and to invite the world to begin to live again at ease. Certainly many a sad figure and many a broken soul must slink henceforth on crutches, a mere survival ; but they, too, will die off gradually. The grass soon grows over a grave.

So musing, I suddenly heard a once familiar strain, now long despised and out of favour, the old tune of Tipperary. In a coffee-house frequented at that hour some wounded officers from the hospital at Somerville were singing it, standing near the bar ; they were breaking all rules, both of surgeons and of epicures, and were having champagne in the morning. And good reason they had for it. They were reprieved, they should never have to go back to the front, their friends such as were left would all come home alive. Instinctively the old grumb ling, good-natured, sentimental song, which they used to sing when they first joined, came again into their minds.

It had been indeed a long, long way to Tipperary. But they had trudged on and had come round full circle ; they were in Tipperary at last. I wonder what they think Tipperary means for this is a mystical song. Probably they are willing to leave it vague, as they do their notions of honour or happiness or heaven. Their soldiering is over ; they remember, with a strange proud grief, their comrades who died to make this day possible, hardly believing that it ever would come ; they are overjoyed, yet half ashamed, to be safe themselves ; they forget their wounds ; they see a green vista before them, a jolly, busy, sporting, loving life in the old familiar places. Everything will go on, they fancy, as if nothing had happened. Good honest unguided creatures ! They are hardly out of the fog of war when they are lost in the fog of peace.

If experience could teach mankind anything, how different our morals and our politics would be, how clear, how tolerant, how steady ! If we knew ourselves, our conduct at all times would be absolutely decided and consistent ; and a pervasive sense of vanity and humour would disinfect all our passions, if we knew the world. As it is, we live experimentally, moodily, in the dark ; each generation breaks its egg-shell with the same haste and assurance as the last, pecks at the same indigestible pebbles, dreams the same dreams, or others just as absurd, and if it hears anything of what former men have learned by experience, it corrects their maxims by its first impressions, and rushes down any untrodden path which it finds alluring, to die in its own way, or become wise too late and to no purpose.

These young men are no rustics, they are no fools ; and yet they have passed through the most terrible ordeal, they have seen the mad heart of this world riven and un masked, they have had long vigils before battle, long nights tossing with pain, in which to meditate on the spectacle ; and yet they have learned nothing. The young barbarians want to be again at play. If it were to be only cricket or boating, it would be innocent enough ; but they are going to gamble away their lives and their country, taking their chances in the lottery of love and of business and of politics, with a sporting chance thrown in, perhaps, of heaven. They are going to shut out from view every thing except their topmost instincts and easy habits, and to trust to luck. Yet the poor fellows think they are safe ! They think that the war perhaps the last of all wars is over !
Last edited by Upton_O_Goode on Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:26 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: In Flanders Fields

Post by Poodle » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:05 pm

Gerald is now topic No. 1 with the local council. Not before time.

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Re: In Flanders Fields

Post by Tom Palven » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:11 pm

Fixin' to Die Rag by Country Joe and the Fish: ... ORM=VRDGAR
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