Words for Remembrance Day – the words of
They shall grow not old
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.
From Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen, written in September 1914
(The full poem, For the Fallen, is printed in both Minds at War and Out of the Dark. Binyon’s poem Now in thy Splendour is also printed in Minds at War.)
Yesterday was very busy here which is why I am blogging about this today, instead of yesterday, when Veterans Day / Rememberance day actually happened.
See, I come from a long line of warriors and am married to a man with a similar lineage, who also happens to be a warrior, so this day has some real deep meaning in this house.
My great grandfather on my maternal grandmothers side, fought in World War 1. I didn’t know the man, just know he was a fisherman on White Head island in the Bay of Fundy. He came back, which is obvious since I’m here and all. I know my great grandma myrtle was very cross with him when he died because she used to curse a blue streak at him every so often.
My maternal grandfather fought in World War 2. He was in the first allied wave to hit Juno Beach on D-day. His unit was charged with taking the midline, the deadliest section of the beach. He too managed to come home. Not unscathed mind you.
During the Rememberence Day ceremony at the Royal Canadian Legion, Odin drowned out most of the sermon with His own. All warriors make a sacrifice when they choose to serve. Every last one of them. Some sacrifice their lives, some sacrifice their sanity, as in the case with my grandfather and my husband’s best friend, both came back with severe PTSD from their respective tours. Some sacrifice limbs, others sacrifice their fellow brothers and sisters in arms. All of them sacrifice time. Time from their loved ones. Years they will never get back. Baby’s first steps, a beloved anniversary, and much much more. All warriors sacrifice this even if they do not go off to fight, for the military can send them wherever for training and to live. Time is precious to us, so sacrificing it, for the good of the nation, is one of the deepest and least recognized sacrifice a soldier can make.
During the Roll Call for the Honour Roll (list of honoured dead held by each Legion) I heard the thump of spear butts on the floor followed by a loud “Hail!” As each name was read off. It was a very moving and surreal experience that only I was privy to in that hall. I doubt anyone else but I was capable of hearing it.
Last night I poured my ancestors and myself some Mead and spent some time with my husband. Never know how much of that he has left.