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.
Today is Remembrance Day and thanks to my MIL and the not do studious postal workers who failed to catch that there were 8 bobby pins in the envelope she sent me, I will be able to sport a poppy on my lapel for the first time in 3 years.
It's silly but I find myself torn between going to church ~ where at the very least there will be a Canadian Minister at the pulpit who will be commemorating the war dead in her service about sacrifice and our duty to remember, not ignore ~ and staying home to watch the tribute on CBC. The CBC tribute will be much more poignant this year than in years past, because of Canada's armed forces role in Afghanistan.
In the end, I think I will opt to go to church, but I will slip in late for the 11am service so as to honour the minute of silence, for the fallen in the peaceful tranquility of our church's Memorial Garden, lest I forget their toil and sacrifice. It will be yet another juxtaposition between war and peace.
Naturally, the common people don't want war ... but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.