Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day 2011

Brilliant golden leaves still clinging
halo the trees in the November morning sun
and cast into shade the cadet sentries
at each side of the cenotaph
rifle butts to the ground
heads bowed
in reverence and remembrance.
Clouds roll in bringing brisk winds
the flags snap and stand out stiffly
the wind noise
picked up by the sound system
rumbles behind it all
creating ghostly echoes
of the sounds of war
The crowd stands silent
Civilians, veterans, cadets
berets, medals and poppies abound
the troops march in to the open square
an eloquent and moving tribute
to the quick and to the dead
The Last Post once again issues
from the bell of the bugle
and dissipates into the heavens
tears fall, hats and caps are
held over hearts, memories
flood those who have served
and gratitude those who have not.
Orders are given and rifles fire
Their sounds driving lumps into our throats
While the wind, now icy
and with hints of snow
creeps into hands and feet and souls
and whispers “this is how it was for Them”.
Chaplains pray for the souls of those lost
Politicians speeches are carefully worded
subtle pleas for votes
A torrent of leaves is stripped from the trees
And hurtle violently toward the ground
in my mind they become
the countless and faceless dead
Blown away by the evil
of mainly forgotten wars
Familiar words “They shall not grow old …” are recited
A familiar hymn is sung “Abide with me
fast falls the eventide…”
Some of us know the words!
The cenotaph in Oshawa