blue moon (2)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hearing The Message ©

Every year on this day we are asked to remember those who died while defending the right for everyone be free.
To live free
Think free
Die free and die many did.

This day was created originally to commemorate those who died during WWI.
The Great War
The War to end all wars
A war that introduced the world to such horrors on such a scale which had never been seen before.

Men who had never been farther than the little towns they were born in found themselves thousands of miles away in a place they didn’t know.
A place they had never heard of.
A place where they didn’t understand what the people were saying to them.
A place far away from where their hearts yearned to be.
Many were there thinking it would be a walk in the park and over in a couple of weeks, not years.

On May 3, 1915 a man sat on a stone looking through the fog and smoke at a small plot of ground soaked blood and rain.
He sat there staring at the mound that covered a friend he had known from back home at a time before this nightmare he now lived in existed.

As he stared at his friend’s final resting place, a voice spoke to him, putting pencil to paper he began to write his thoughts as the voice deposited them in this head.
Periodically he’d stop his scribbling and glance at his friend as if waiting for him to break the silence and continue speaking.
He looked down to the paper at what he had already transcribed from his thoughts.

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.

Where is the Flanders Fields that are referred to in this verse?

Most of us have heard that verse at one time or another, usually during Remembrance Day ceremonies here.
I know I have heard it hundreds of times, as a Canadian wrote it.
He was born not to far from here but he died in a place far, far away from the place he called home.
I always assumed that Flanders Fields was in France because that’s where most of the fighting occurred back then but it wasn’t.
Flanders Fields is situated outside the small quiet town of Ypres, Belgium.
It wasn’t so quiet on May 2nd 1915

Every year we are asked to remember but we don’t know what we are to remember or maybe we don’t want to remember or they don’t want us to remember.
Maybe forget it all together over time.

What is war but a game for people in power to play?
War is the most hypocritical waste of life there is.
We send our young out there to fight and possible get hurt or killed for some cause that is just to our social beliefs.
MILLIONS of people perish in the name of these ideals, beliefs or maybe just plain greed.

Years pass as human blood waters the spring blossoms while the torn bodies feed the earth.
When it’s over, the jubilation spreads across the world with people dancing in the streets.
Ticker tape parades welcome the conquering heroes while in the fields, thousands lay in silence.

John McCrae sat on that stone listening to his friend’s words and of those buried around him then wrote their words down for all of us to hear.

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.

These young men took up the cause, a just cause and took their last breath in a land far from home, for people they didn’t know in a land they had never heard of before.
Many not old enough to be called men yet but they were there pretending to be men for their country.

The last living Canadian who faught in WWI, John Babcock is 107 now and was 15 ½ when he went to France.
The youngest Canadian to serve in that war was 10, the youngest killed in battle was 14.

It was the blood of children that filled the trenches in Europe as loved ones waited at home for word, soaking up the propaganda on the news reels and newspapers.
Even now the dead were being silenced by their own.

In the midst of death, McCrae’s words rang out for the cause, summoning others to rally for the right of all to be free.
They beg to bring reason for this cost of war.

They ask not their lives to have been wasted but to continue until victory.

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.

Our enemy becomes our friend and all past indiscretions are forgiven.
Life goes on but not for those who lay in silence waiting to be heard but no one is there or willing to listen.
For almost 100 years they have been waiting for us to stop what we are doing and give them two minutes to speak so that the 10 million silenced voices can remind us what the cost of war is before they could finally rest in peace but no one comes, maybe no one cares.

War after war their ranks swell by the millions yet there they wait silently to finally be heard.

We argue with neighbors and send our sons out to fight for us, then when the smoke clears and the tears are wiped away we become friends with our neighbors once more.
How stupid is that?
Why did all those people have to die for if we are only going to go back to the way it was before.

Countries like Germany did it twice and today we are all friends again with the ones that killed our sons and they are making more money than ever, as are the Japanese, our emenies but now we call them friends.
Why couldn’t we have just been friends from the beginning?

We shake our fists at the Chinese and everyone is rattling sabres but we still do business with them at our expense.
We critisize their way of life and are weary of them as we would be with an enemy but we still want their money.
Will we have to go to war with them to before we can call them friend?
What will that cost?

Our blade is not made of steal but of human flesh, it bleeds and is fragile yet we are determined to constantly put it in use, for what.
Edwin Starr sang it best, War, what is it good for?
Population control.

This day is for those who went out there because they believed in the cause, freedom.
They fought and died so that others can today sit here where we are and enjoy the rights they helped us keep.
They faught to put down tyranny and to punish those who had wronged their neighbors by freeing them and dispensing justice to those who denied others the right to live free in their own home.

What saddens me the most is with all the evidence we have through the years about war and how ugly it is, we still keep on having them.
We condem others for arming up but we are armed to the tits with enough weopons that could disitegrate the Earth in a blink of an eye ourselves.

We have not learned from the past because we still have war.
All they have to do is stop and listen to the voices of those screaming in Flanders Fields and in other battlefields throughout time that have been baptized in the blood of our sons in the name of what’s right.

When will we start listening to those who paid the price?
When the last Canadian WWI Veteran is gone and the few others throughtout the world pass on with him, will we remember WWI or will it fade into the history books like all those other great wars in history?
Will they become a footnote on some page in a dusty book on the shelf?

For now, at least in our time let’s remember those that mattered the most when we needed them the most.

I salute all the vets in Canada on this Rememberance day and to the other vets in other countries of the world who stop to remember their valiant dead on this day.

Never stop listening to the dead, they speak the truth.

Have a nice day



Peter said...

Thank you for that wonderful post Walker.
"Lest We Forget."

Josie Two Shoes said...

One of your finest posts ever, Walker - I can only add Amen!

Gypsy said...

Brilliant, poignant post Walker.

"Will we have to go to war with them before we can call them friend" - I fear that will probably be the case.

I dearly hope that the message keeps getting through for generations to come. My daughters reminded me yesterday that we must have a minute's silence at 11.00am. They had been learning about Remembrance Day at school which I was gratified to hear.

We were in the middle of a full dress rehearsal for the concert when the clock struck 11. We all bowed our heads as one and thought about those who had died in the name of freedom and I for one gave silent thanks.

patti_cake said...

That was a beautiful post Walker and I, too thought Flanders Field was in France but it was nearby in Belgium. May we never forget and pass along the gratitude...

Anonymous Boxer said...

Very, very well done.

Gledwood said...

Very well put! I can only agree with Patti above: a beautiful post...