Remembrance Day - Lest We Forget -


Remembrance Day - Lest We Forget -

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the armistice ending fighting in WWI, the war to end all wars, was signed. While the peace did not last, the date gained recognition throughout the western world.

Originally, the date was marked as Armistice Day, but when the losses mounted in the many wars that followed, the name was changed to allow all soldiers from all wars to be honored.

In Canada, as in the UK, November 11th is called Remembrance Day - in the U.S. it's Veterans Day.

In each country, the day is usually marked with parades, ceremonies, quotes and speeches - and a moment of silence - to honor those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their nations in the two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands, Lebanon, Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Dignitaries gather to place wreaths on the tombs of unknown soldiers who rest in anonymous honor as a symbol of all who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Two minute silence

At 11am on each Remembrance Sunday a two minute silence is observed at war memorials and other public spaces across the UK.

The First Two Minute Silence in London (11th November 1919) as reported in the Manchester Guardian, 12th November 1919.

'The first stroke of eleven produced a magical effect.

The tram cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume, and stopped dead, and the mighty-limbed dray horses hunched back upon their loads and stopped also, seeming to do it of their own volition.

Someone took off his hat, and with a nervous hesitancy the rest of the men bowed their heads also. Here and there an old soldier could be detected slipping unconsciously into the posture of 'attention'. An elderly woman, not far away, wiped her eyes, and the man beside her looked white and stern. Everyone stood very still ... The hush deepened. It had spread over the whole city and become so pronounced as to impress one with a sense of audibility. It was a silence which was almost pain ... And the spirit of memory brooded over it all.'

The Flanders Fields poppy, symbolic of the bloodshed, is today a universal symbol sported on caps and lapels to honor war veterans everywhere, with wreaths of the bright red flowers decorating war memorials and in gardens of remembrance around the world...


by 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




John McCrae's poem may be the most famous one of the Great War.

The day before he wrote "In Flanders Fields", one of John's closest friends was killed and buried in a grave decorated with only a simple wooden cross. Wild poppies were already blooming between the crosses that marked the graves of those who were killed in battle.

Unable to help his friend or other fallen soldiers, John McCrae gave them a voice through "In Flanders Field.

A Poem – The Inquisitive Child

Why are they selling poppies, Mummy? Selling poppies in town today.

The poppies, child, are flowers of love. For the men who marched away.

But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy? Why not a beautiful rose?

Because my child, men fought and died in the fields where the poppies grow.

But why are the poppies so red, Mummy? Why are the poppies so red?

Red is the colour of blood, my child. The blood that our soldiers shed.

The heart of the poppy is black, Mummy. Why does it have to be black?

Black, my child, is the symbol of grief. For the men who never came back.

But why, Mummy are you crying so? Your tears are giving you pain.

My tears are my fears for you my child. For the world is forgetting again.

Remembrance day poem

"Please wear a poppy," the lady said

And held one forth, but I shook my head.

Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there,

And her face was old and lined with care;

But beneath the scars the years had made

There remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street,

Bouncing along on care-free feet.

His smile was full of joy and fun,

"Lady," said he, "may I have one?"

When she's pinned in on he turned to say,

"Why do we wear a poppy today?"

The lady smiled in her wistful way

And answered, "This is Remembrance Day,

And the poppy there is the symbol for

The gallant men who died in war.

And because they did, you and I are free -

That's why we wear a poppy, you see.

"I had a boy about your size,

With golden hair and big blue eyes.

He loved to play and jump and shout,

Free as a bird he would race about.

As the years went by he learned and grew

and became a man - as you will, too.

"He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile,

But he'd seemed with us such a little while

When war broke out and he went away.

I still remember his face that day

When he smiled at me and said, Goodbye,

I'll be back soon, Mom, so please don't cry.

"But the war went on and he had to stay,

And all I could do was wait and pray.

His letters told of the awful fight,

(I can see it still in my dreams at night),

With the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,

And the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.

"Till at last, at last, the war was won -

And that's why we wear a poppy son."

The small boy turned as if to go,

Then said, "Thanks, lady, I'm glad to know.

That sure did sound like an awful fight,

But your son - did he come back all right?"

A tear rolled down each faded check;

She shook her head, but didn't speak.

I slunk away in a sort of shame,

And if you were me you'd have done the same;

For our thanks, in giving, if oft delayed,

Thought our freedom was bought - and thousands paid!

And so when we see a poppy worn,

Let us reflect on the burden borne,

By those who gave their very all

When asked to answer their country's call

That we at home in peace might live.

Then wear a poppy! Remember - and give!

Prayer for Remembrance Day

For those who were killed in battle,

For those who gave up their lives to save others

For those who fought because they were forced to,

For those who died standing up for a just cause

For those who said war was wrong,

For those who tried to make the peace

For those who prayed when others had no time to pray

For those creatures who needlessly die

For those trees that needlessly are slaughtered

For all of mankind

let us quietly pray:

May your God hold them in peace

May Love flow over the Earth and cleanse us all

This day and for always.

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...

Remembrance Day - T’was Madness

By Peter Atkinson

Deep in the trenches and stenches they stand

Where their life’s in the balance, poised in fates hand.

The front line can make courage soon disappear

With the rage of the battle and the palpable fear.

Our troops line to die when the whistle is blown,

To a slaughter so vile in the killing zone.

What mind in command could consider it right

To march men with rifles to engage such a fight

Where opponents attack with such focused disdain

Meet machine-guns a-blazing; reap carnage insane.

T’was a war that was numb to a phalanx of death

Were the leaders perplexed; suffered intake of breath?

What contest deemed fair would plan such a match?

Where a soldier on foot would cross a mud patch

To a death that was certain as bullets would slay

Those Innocents ordered straight into harms way.

Christ, why was that ever considered to be

A fair contest? T’was madness and none disagree.

Don't Cry

I write this poem, here where I lay,

Sunshine is gone, I only see grey.

Wish I had a bit more time,

I'm in my twenties, I'm in my prime.

But I only have a minute or two,

My body is numb, my face is blue.

I'm so sorry, I did my best,

Life is leaving, through my red chest.

It all happened so sudden and fast,

Can't help but smile, as I look at the past.

Please don't morn, please don't cry,

I'll look down, from the sky.

Young Soldier

Stay calm soldier

Do not panic

Stay calm soldier

And think of what you were taught

You're too young to die

My soldier

You're too young to leave

Run soldier

From the danger ahead

Run soldier

Don't be brave

You're too young to die

My soldier

You're too young to leave

Fight soldier

The enemy that fights you

Fight soldier

And make it though the day

You're too young to die

My soldier

You're too young to leave

Come home soldier

I miss you terribly

Come home soldier

To me and your family

You're too young to die

My soldier

Don't ever leave me

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,

England mourns for her dead across the sea.

Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,

Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal

Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,

There is music in the midst of desolation

And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,

Straight of limb, true of eye, 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.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,

Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,

To the innermost heart of their own land they are known

As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,

Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;

As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,

To the end, to the end, they remain.

From 'There Lie Forgotten Men'

She stands there alone

At the edge of the silent place

And she is shocked

New wars brew and these forgotten men

Will play no part in them

The dead silence warn no ears but hers

In great halls, in moments of great decision

What they fought for is forsaken

And by day's end new gravestones

Appear on the blood red ground

She finds what she seeks

'Sgt John Malley Age 27'

His life brutally ended

And she stands by his grave

But he can give no answers

And she weeps for him

For the empty hole he left behind

And for the new emptiness

Soon to join the black chasm.

And her tears join the flood.

By Rebecca Sullivan

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.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond England's foam

Remembrance Day Poem called 'Daddy's Poem'

author unknown

Daddy's Poem

Her hair was up in a pony tail,

her favorite dress tied with a bow.

Today was Daddy's Day at school,

and she couldn't wait to go.

But her mommy tried to tell her,

that she probably should stay home.

Why the kids might not understand,

if she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid;

she knew just what to say.

What to tell her classmates

of why he wasn't there today.

But still her mother worried,

for her to face this day alone.

And that was why once again,

she tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school

eager to tell them all.

About a dad she never sees

a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back,

for everyone to meet.

Children squirming impatiently,

anxious in their seats

One by one the teacher called

a student from the class.

To introduce their daddy,

as seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,

every child turned to stare.

Each of them was searching,

a man who wasn't there.

'Where's her daddy at?'

She heard a boy call out.

'She probably doesn't have one,'

another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back,

she heard a daddy say,

'Looks like another deadbeat dad,

too busy to waste his day.'

The words did not offend her,

as she smiled up at her Mom.

And looked back at her teacher,

who told her to go on.

And with hands behind her back,

slowly she began to speak.

And out from the mouth of a child,

came words incredibly unique.

'My Daddy couldn't be here,

because he lives so far away.

But I know he wishes he could be,

since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,

I wanted you to know.

All about my daddy,

and how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories

he taught me to ride my bike.

He surprised me with pink roses,

and taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes,

and ice cream in a cone.

And though you cannot see him.

I'm not standing here alone.

'Cause my daddy's al ways with me,

even though we are apart

I know because he told me,

he'll forever be in my heart'

With that, her little hand reached up,

and lay across her chest.

Feeling her own heartbeat,

beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads,

her mother stood in tears.

Proudly watching her daughter,

who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love

of a man not in her life.

Doing what was best for her,

doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,

staring straight into the crowd.

She finished with a voice so soft,

but its message clear and loud.

'I love my daddy very much,

he's my shining star.

And if he could, he'd be here,

but heaven's just too far.

You see he is a Canadian soldier

And died just this past year

When a roadside bomb hit his convoy

and taught Canadians to fear.

But sometimes when I close my eyes,

it's like he never went away.'

And then she closed her eyes,

and saw him there that day.

And to her mothers amazement,

she witnessed with surprise.

A room full of daddies and children,

all starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them,

who knows what they felt inside.

Perhaps for merely a second,

they saw him at her side.

'I know you're with me Daddy,'

to the silence she called out.

And what happened next made believers,

of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,

for each of their eyes had been closed.

But there on the desk beside her,

was a fragrant long-stemmed rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,

by the love of her shining star.

And given the gift of believing,

that heaven is never too far.

Take the live and love.

Until eternity. God bless!

Lest We Forget!

Lest We Forget

What do we forget when we remember

What are the stories left untold

What do we think each November

As we march down that glory road

As we march down that gory road

One hundred million

Don’t come home from war

Another eight hundred million

Who lived to bear its scar

Who lived to bear its scar

Lest we forget

What they were dying for

Lest we forget

What they were killing for

Lest we forget

What the hell it was for

What do we forget when we remember…

"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."

We will remember them

God bless those who have given their lives, to save ours,

God bless those who have came home without limbs

God bless those who have returned safely to their families

God Bless all parents who have been left at home worrying that their loved ones are alright.

God bless all the medical teams who have to carry out medical procedure in hostile situations

God bless them all not just today but for everyday

God bless those who suffer like us with different medical conditions

God bless our carers who make our lives more comfortable

God bless our families who love us dearly and for the love and care they give us

God bless you all

Author of God Bless: Berwick


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15 Replies

  • Oh Berwick. Thank you so much for this wonderful tribute. The tears are streaming. God Bless them all.

  • Thank you Suzy. Berwick x

  • Thank you Berwick. I was very moved by this tribute and am so glad that in this day and age, we can remember all those brave souls that gave their lives for us. We will remember them.


  • Thank you Quintus. Berwickx

  • Beautiful memorable words, Berwick .

  • Thank you annie. Berwick xx

  • Thank you, so thought provoking.

    polly xx

  • Thank you Polly. Berwick x

  • Thank you for that too.x

  • thank you Oxon. Berwickx

  • Thanks Berwick, you made me cry today. xx

  • Thank you Toci. I shed a few when writing this one. It took me a week to get this right and hopefully I got it right.x

  • Very right. x

  • Thank you Berwick for the tribute poetry to those who gave their lives that we might live in peace, those of us who have lost a family member to war then or now never forget as one poem showed

  • Thank you Katie. Berwick

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