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BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated

GUEST,mg 10 Nov 05 - 07:48 PM
artbrooks 10 Nov 05 - 07:52 PM
Peace 10 Nov 05 - 08:15 PM
beardedbruce 10 Nov 05 - 08:23 PM
Beer 10 Nov 05 - 09:18 PM
MuddleC 11 Nov 05 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,David Hannam 11 Nov 05 - 06:24 AM
alanabit 11 Nov 05 - 06:28 AM
The Walrus 11 Nov 05 - 06:47 AM
number 6 11 Nov 05 - 08:40 AM
Mooh 11 Nov 05 - 09:06 AM
Liz the Squeak 11 Nov 05 - 09:48 AM
Liz the Squeak 11 Nov 05 - 09:50 AM
Mrrzy 11 Nov 05 - 01:05 PM
*daylia* 11 Nov 05 - 01:25 PM
katlaughing 11 Nov 05 - 01:29 PM
Clinton Hammond 11 Nov 05 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,amergin 11 Nov 05 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,amergin 11 Nov 05 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,cookieless, at work 11 Nov 05 - 02:34 PM
Peace 11 Nov 05 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Dave (the ancient mariner) 11 Nov 05 - 02:50 PM
Peace 11 Nov 05 - 03:15 PM
Peace 11 Nov 05 - 03:18 PM
Raedwulf 11 Nov 05 - 03:59 PM
Deckman 11 Nov 05 - 04:41 PM
Greg F. 11 Nov 05 - 05:26 PM
mooman 11 Nov 05 - 05:29 PM
ranger1 11 Nov 05 - 05:42 PM
Dave Masterson 11 Nov 05 - 06:04 PM
Chip2447 11 Nov 05 - 06:11 PM
number 6 11 Nov 05 - 06:53 PM
bobad 11 Nov 05 - 06:59 PM
Beer 11 Nov 05 - 08:40 PM
jimmyt 11 Nov 05 - 09:29 PM
Beer 11 Nov 05 - 09:41 PM
mg 11 Nov 05 - 10:13 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Nov 05 - 06:27 PM
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Subject: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 10 Nov 05 - 07:48 PM

Here is a thread which I will again request be moderated so that people can leave their respects etc. There will be another unmoderated thread.    mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: artbrooks
Date: 10 Nov 05 - 07:52 PM

Memorial Day observance here tomorrow. I will be there with my Vietman boonie hat on, thinking about those I knew, those I didn't, and those who are yet to go for some unknown reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 05 - 08:15 PM

Remembrance Day in Canada. We held a service here today at school, and I'll go tomorrow to the community service. This time I won't get tears in my eyes the way I have for the past fifty years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: beardedbruce
Date: 10 Nov 05 - 08:23 PM

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month- A celebration of the end of the War to End All Wars.

If only ....


My grandfather was in the AEF, and gassed at Cht. Theiry ( sorry about the spelling). He survived, unlike far too many of that generation.

I shall have tears in my eyes for all those who have suffered in doing what they considered their duty to home and country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Beer
Date: 10 Nov 05 - 09:18 PM

Never served but my grandfather did in WW1. Became a Legion member 15 years ago and served 3 years as President. Will do my part tomorrow and the weekend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: MuddleC
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 06:06 AM

Went to a folk session last night, sang 'and the band played waltzing matilda', 'no man's land' and 'my youngst son came home today', only one other was wearing a poppy, but some others did eventually present similar suitable song/music , something about peace.......


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: GUEST,David Hannam
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 06:24 AM

Greatest respect and utmost thanks. War to end all wars? You did your part, now we must do ours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: alanabit
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 06:28 AM

Daniel McKenna was gassed at Gallipoli. He was my great grandfather. William Hall, my maternal grandfather, was away on various ships of the Royal Navy for the whole of the Second World War. I don't know what they went through, because I never got to talk to them. I will remember them though.
"The oldest hath borne most: We that are young,
Shall never see so much, nor live so long."


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: The Walrus
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 06:47 AM

Maternal Grandfather - 10th Queen's (Wandsworth Bn)(1914 volunteer)Paternal Grandfather - HMS Hindoostan (Regular sailor RN)
Great War

Father - Royal Army Service Corps / Army Catering Corps (attd Infantry)(1939-45)
Assorted Uncles (and two Aunts) Army and Navy (one both)
Second World War

Assorted Uncles Army ("Peace time" conscripts).

We were lucky, they all came back.

Remembering those who didn't (and those who did)

Tom


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: number 6
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 08:40 AM

Father .... Calgary Tank Corps WWII

Uncle .... 48th Highlanders who sacrificed his life Italy in WW II

There are many, many names of those who gave their lifes. Sadly some of them are now forgotten. If one has time I suggest going online and view some of them on the hounour rolls. Rememberance.

six


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Mooh
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 09:06 AM

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. (L. Binyon)

I will attend the cenotaph service today, one which my Dad used to conduct when he was the Legion Chaplain and local Anglican minister. I can't attend such things without hearing his voice. He was a veteran too, like so many others, and my direct link to this part of our history. The sun shines this morning, literally and figuritively I hope.

Not everyone agrees, but it should be a statutory holiday here, except that then it would be hard to get kids to attend the service. Thanks goodness it hasn't got all commercialized yet.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 09:48 AM

The Abbotsbury War Memorial has 13 names on it. I'm related by blood or marriage to a quarter of them, all killed on 31 May/1 June 1916; George Corbon, John and William Dunford. They are one of the 'Grateful Parishes', one where no-one lost their lives in WWII.

I'm also thinking of Henry Dunford who was killed with his cousins John and William at Jutland; and Eli Christopher, somewhere in France. None of them has a grave.

In June I stood at Pegasus Bridge, next weekend I shall be standing 'In Flanders Fields'. It shouldn't be just for one day that we remember.

LTS

Oddly enough, there is a name on the Abbotsbury War Memorial for which I can find no service record. I'm thinking of him too, wondering if he really did make the supreme sacrifice, and if so, why there is only a name in stone to record his deeds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 09:50 AM

(Les Sullivan ~ is there a song in that last line??)

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 01:05 PM

I always celebrate today as Armistice Day rather than the American "veteran's day" - I'd rather celebrate the end of war than the people who fought in them. Today (2005) is also Atheists in Foxholes day, the military atheists are marching on Washington and guess what, Bush has decided to go to somewhere far away to talk to people about the current war...


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: *daylia*
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 01:25 PM

Just rec'd this in an eMail from my uncle, Canadian veteran from Nanaimo BC. Should it fail to wet your eye too, try listening to the bagpipes play Amazing Grace while reading it ...

"THE FINAL INSPECTION

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets;
You've done your time in Hell."


~Author Unknown~


It's the Soldier, not the reporter WHO has given us the freedom of the press.

It's the Soldier, not the poet, WHO has given us the freedom of speech.

It's the Soldier, not the politicians THAT ensures our right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, WHO serves beneath the flag, AND whose coffin is draped by the flag.


If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the Military,

PLEASE pray for our men and women

WHO have served and are currently serving our country

AND pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom."


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 01:29 PM

American Indian Radio on Satellite is running a live program, right now, featuring stories and interviews of Native American POWs. You may listen at AIROS.ORG.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 01:34 PM

11:11

Ah the glorious few are all the few here
in the cold November air
the crowd draws silent
their collars raised
to the edges of the square
The children's choir sings "In Flander's Fields"
the band plays "Over There"
the old heroes still try to dress the line
As the chaplain leads the prayer

For the glorious few no longer stand so straight
As they did long years before
when they faced a hard and cruel fate
on a far and distant shore
their tunics faded green and blue
poor shelter from this cold
the memories made yet raw and new
at the calling of the roll

The heads are bowed in silence now
at the tolling of the hour
The first few falling flakes of snow
drift gently on the flowers
all piled and stacked against the stones
petals fluttering in the air
The eyes that stare down through the years
at the one no longer there

The taste of lost and wasted years
so bitter on the tongue
white breath in clouds in the autumn cold
Fail chest with medals hung
in battle ribbons red and gold
in the pale November sun
the hands and faces grown so old
while the heart stays ever young

For the glorious few are the fewer here
the old soldiers form the square
the wind blows hard and shakes the leaves
and stirs the white thin hair
of these fading brave and fragile souls
as the bugler plays "Last Post"
the snow falls thick and faster still
and turns them white as ghosts


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: GUEST,amergin
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 01:44 PM

AFTERMATH

HAVE you forgotten yet?...
For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz--
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench--
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?'
Do you remember that hour of din before the attack--
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads--those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.

By: Siegfried Sassoon(March 1919)


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: GUEST,amergin
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 01:45 PM

My Mate

I've been sittin' starin', starin' at 'is muddy pair of boots,
And tryin' to convince meself it's 'im.
(Look out there, lad! That sniper -- 'e's a dysey when 'e shoots;
'E'll be layin' of you out the same as Jim.)
Jim as lies there in the dug-out wiv 'is blanket round 'is 'ead,
To keep 'is brains from mixin' wiv the mud;
And 'is face as white as putty, and 'is overcoat all red,
Like 'e's spilt a bloomin' paint-pot -- but it's blood.

And I'm tryin' to remember of a time we wasn't pals.
'Ow often we've played 'ookey, 'im and me;
And sometimes it was music-'alls, and sometimes it was gals,
And even there we 'ad no disagree.
For when 'e copped Mariar Jones, the one I liked the best,
I shook 'is 'and and loaned 'im 'arf a quid;
I saw 'im through the parson's job, I 'elped 'im make 'is nest,
I even stood god-farther to the kid.

So when the war broke out, sez 'e: "Well, wot abaht it, Joe?"
"Well, wot abaht it, lad?" sez I to 'im.
'Is missis made a awful fuss, but 'e was mad to go,
('E always was 'igh-sperrited was Jim).
Well, none of it's been 'eaven, and the most of it's been 'ell,
But we've shared our baccy, and we've 'alved our bread.
We'd all the luck at Wipers, and we shaved through Noove Chapelle,
And . . . that snipin' barstard gits 'im on the 'ead.

Now wot I wants to know is, why it wasn't me was took?
I've only got meself, 'e stands for three.
I'm plainer than a louse, while 'e was 'andsome as a dook;
'E always WAS a better man than me.
'E was goin' 'ome next Toosday; 'e was 'appy as a lark,
And 'e'd just received a letter from 'is kid;
And 'e struck a match to show me, as we stood there in the dark,
When . . . that bleedin' bullet got 'im on the lid.

'E was killed so awful sudden that 'e 'adn't time to die.
'E sorto jumped, and came down wiv a thud.
Them corpsy-lookin' star-shells kept a-streamin' in the sky,
And there 'e lay like nothin' in the mud.
And there 'e lay so quiet wiv no mansard to 'is 'ead,
And I'm sick, and blamed if I can understand:
The pots of 'alf and 'alf we've 'ad, and ZIP! like that -- 'e's dead,
Wiv the letter of 'is nipper in 'is 'and.

There's some as fights for freedom and there's some as fights for fun,
But me, my lad, I fights for bleedin' 'ate.
You can blame the war and blast it, but I 'opes it won't be done
Till I gets the bloomin' blood-price for me mate.
It'll take a bit o' bayonet to level up for Jim;
Then if I'm spared I think I'll 'ave a bid,
Wiv 'er that was Mariar Jones to take the place of 'im,
To sorter be a farther to 'is kid.


--- Robert Service


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: GUEST,cookieless, at work
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 02:34 PM

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

--Wilfred Owen


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 02:46 PM

Since 1948, Canada has had 125,000 troops involved in peacekeeping operations around the world. The cost has been 107 lives. The Lord alone knows how many they saved.

FYI to my fellow and fellowette Canucks.

Tears again this year, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: GUEST,Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 02:50 PM

Until recent years there has never been a place set aside for the Merchant Navy at any memorials. Now the veterans of that service stand side by side with the military. Some of the youngest who died(14 and 15 year olds) served in the MN. Even during the Vietnam war Merchant Marines died in action, were POW's and are listed as missing. I have no idea who wrote this but for them....

MERCHANT SEAMEN

I've read about soldiers & sailors,
of infantry, airmen & tanks,
of battleships, corvettes and cruisers,
of Anzacs, and Froggies and Yanks,
and there's one other man to remember
who was present at many a fray,
He wears neither medals or ribbons
and derides any show of display.

I'm talking of Mates, A.B.'s and firemen
of stewards and greasers and cooks
who manned the big steamers in convoy
(You wont read about them in books).
No uniform gay were they dressed in,
nor marched with their colours unfurled:
They steamed out across the wide oceans
and travelled all over the world.

Their history goes back through the ages
a record of which to be proud
and the bones of their forefathers moulder
with naught but the deep for a shroud,
For armies have swept on to victory
o'er the bodies of those who have died;
'Tis thus that the nations do battle
For country and freedom and pride.

In thousands they sailed from the Homeland
from Liverpool, Hull, and the Clyde,
to London, and Bristol, and Cardiff,
They came back again on the tide.
An old 'four-point-seven' their safeguard.
What nice easy prey for the Huns,
who trailed them with bombers and U-Boats
and sank them with 'tin-fish' and guns.

The epic of gallant OTAKI,
that grim forlorn hope Jervis Bay,
who fought to the last and were beaten
but they joined the illustrious array
whose skeletons lie 'neath the waters,
whose deeds are remembered today,
and their glory will shine undiminished
long after our flesh turns to clay.

They landed the Anzacs at Suvla
and stranded the old River Clyde,
Off Dunkirk they gathered the remnants
(And still they were not satisfied)
They Battled their way through to Malta
and rescued the troops from Malay;
they brought the eighth army munitions
and took all their prisoners away.

And others 'signed on' in the tankers
and loaded crude oil and octane –
the lifeblood of warships and engines,
of mechanised transport and plane.
But these were the U-Boats chief victims;
What death they were called on to face ;
As men were engulfed by infernos
In ships that were 'sunk without trace'.

They were classed a non-combatant service-
Civilians who fought without guns
and many's the time they'd have welcomed
a chance of a crack at the Huns.
But somehow in spite of this drawback
The steamers still sailed and arrived
and they fed fifty millions of people
and right to the end we survived.

And now that the turmoil is ended,
our enemies vanquished and fled,
we'll pray that the living will foster
the spirit of those who are dead.
When the next generation takes over
this country we now hold in lease
will be theirs - may they cherish its freedom
and walk down the pathways of peace.

When the Master of Masters holds judgement
and the devils dark angels have flown,
When the clerk of the heavenly council
decrees that the names shall be known
They will stand out in glittering letters
inscribed with the blood they have shed;
Names of Ships - and the seamen who manned them;
then the ocean can give up its dead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 03:15 PM

Dave,

This from a Canadian site about the MN. "One in 7 mariners serving aboard merchant ships in WWII died in the line of duty."


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 03:18 PM

. . . and this from another: "Merchant seamen bore much of the brunt of the Battle of the Atlantic. More than 1,600 Canadian merchant mariners died, including eight women."


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Raedwulf
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 03:59 PM

In Memoriam

by Ewart Alan Mackintosh (killed in action 21 November 1917 aged 24)
(Private D Sutherland killed in action in the German trenches, 16 May 1916, and the others who died.)

So you were David's father,
And he was your only son,
And the new-cut peats are rotting
And the work is left undone,
Because of an old man weeping,
Just an old man in pain,
For David, his son David,
That will not come again.

Oh, the letters he wrote you,
And I can see them still,
Not a word of the fighting,
But just the sheep on the hill
And how you should get the crops in
Ere the year get stormier,
And the Bosches have got his body,
And I was his officer.

You were only David's father,
But I had fifty sons
When we went up in the evening
Under the arch of the guns,
And we came back at twilight -
O God! I heard them call
To me for help and pity
That could not help at all.

Oh, never will I forget you,
My men that trusted me,
More my sons than your fathers',
For they could only see
The little helpless babies
And the young men in their pride.
They could not see you dying,
And hold you while you died.

Happy and young and gallant,
They saw their first-born go,
But not the strong limbs broken
And the beautiful men brought low,
The piteous writhing bodies,
They screamed 'Don't leave me, sir',
For they were only your fathers
But I was your officer.

Inspiration
On the evening of 16 May, 1916 Lieutenant Ewart Alan Mackintosh and Second Lieutenant Mackay of the 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders led a raid on the German trenches in the sector of the front line north-west of Arras. By the end of the night there were sixteen British casualties, which included fourteen wounded and two killed. One of the two dead soldiers was Private David Sutherland.

====

My family's generations more or less skipped both wars. The only relative who died in the war years that I know of was (Great-)Uncle Eustace who died of TB in 1916. Ralph Reginald, my maternal grandfather, is the only one that I know did serve; in WWI, particularly at Arras in 1918. I'm told he would wake up screaming in the night, even years later.

I don't remember him particularly (I was 3 when he died & remember little more than the tartan rug that covered his knees), but I was an interested student of WWI afore or ere I ever knew the family involvement. It's not "Veteran's Day", it's Rememberance Day".

I remember, as best I can, those that I never knew who died for a future that they would never know...


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 04:41 PM

I am a veteran. U.S. Army, Medical Corp. This is my Veteran's day thought:

             STRANGEST DREAM (Ed McCurdy, 1952)

LAST NIGHT I HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM.,
I'D EVER DREAMED BEFORE,
I DREAMED THE WORLD HAD ALL AGREED,
TO PUT AN END TO WAR.

I DREAMED I SAW A MIGHTY ROOM,
THE ROOM WAS FILLED WITH MEN,
AND THE PAPER THEY WERE SIGNING SAID,
I'LL NEVER FIGHT AGAIN.

AND WHEN THE PAPER WAS ALL SIGNED,
AND A MILLION COPIES MADE,
THEY ALL JOINED HANDS AND BOWED THEIR HEADS,
AND GRATEFUL PRAYERS WERE PRAYED.

AND THE PEOPLE IN THE STREET BELOW,
WERE DANCING ROUND AND ROUND,
WHILE SWORDS AND GUNS AND UNIFORMS,
WERE BURIED IN THE GROUND.

LAST NIGHT ID HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM,
I'D EVER DREAMED BEFORE ....

Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Greg F.
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 05:26 PM

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

    It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

    Sunday morning came-next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their faces alight with material dreams-visions of a stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!-then home from the war, bronzed heros, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation -- "God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

    Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was that an ever--merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory -

    An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting.

    With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,"Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

    The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said

    "I come from the Throne-bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd and grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import-that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of-except he pause and think.

    "God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who hearth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this-keep it in mind. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

    "You have heard your servant's prayer-the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it-that part which the pastor, and also you in your hearts, fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory-must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

    "O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause)

"Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.


- Mark Twain


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: mooman
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 05:29 PM

My great uncle Tommy was killed on the first day of WW1.

By a remarkable coincidence (or was it meant to be) I walked straight up to his name on the wall of remembrance of servicemen missing in action at the huge Tyne Cot Cemetery near Ypres (one name out of about 12000 commemorated or buried in that place alone) on my first visit to that sad place two years ago.

Because of their actions and those of my father's generation, I am very lucky not to have had to serve in the military.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: ranger1
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 05:42 PM

Today is the day that I always miss my grandfather the most. I don't know why today and not what would have been his birthday or the day that is the anniversary of his death. Today is the day I always cry when I watch the veterans marching by, wishing my grampa could be marching with them, not that he would have, he tried not to talk about it at all if he could help it. Once in a great while, he might mention some little thing about "when I was in the service". Usually something about how the Italians didn't know what real ice cream was or how he was seasick the whole time he was on the ship going over. It wasn't until after he died, almost 13 years ago now, that we found out that not only had he been wounded in action, but that he had recieved a bronze star and cluster. We're still not sure what the circumstances were, like I said, he didn't talk about it. It wasn't until I was in high school and taking an honors history class that I found out what a real horror story the whole Italian front had been. About that time, I started to understand a little of what my grandfather had been through. Enough to get mad about the fact that you hear about Normandy and the Pacific, but somehow Italy always gets left out.

So here's to the memory of my grampa, John Stillman Mulherin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Dave Masterson
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 06:04 PM

My great-uncle Lt. Christopher John Masterson, Worcestershire Regt. from Collingbourne Ducis, Wiltshire.
Died 2nd September 1917 aged 22.
Buried at Underhill Farm Cemetary, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the sacrifice the previous 2 generations made for us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Chip2447
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 06:11 PM

Paternal Grandfather Served in the American Army as a messenger in WWI. Unfortunatly he passed away when I was young. There were more pressing matters on the mind of a 10 year old boy than grandad's war stories. I wish that I had shown more interest or he had lived longer for me to get more of his history. The two stories that I do remember are how they drank kerosene in order to prevent pneumonia and how he got stranded on the wrong side of the lines. He was with in earshot of a German unit and could clearly hear their voices. Not understanding the language he didn't know what kind of unit he had found. That is until the railway gun (he called it Big Bertha, I don't know if it was the "Big Bertha" or just a generic railway gun) fired and scared the piss out of him.

Maternal Grandfather, Served as a tanker in the US army in WWII. until Anzio that is. When the Sherman he was driving got hit by a "88". He alone crawled out of a hole that to quote him "he didn't know how anyone crawled out of" and spent the rest of the war either in a body cast for the broken back, shattered pelvis and broken collar bone, or convalescing.

Uncle by marriage served with the USN during Korea.

Uncle with the USN during Vietnam.

Best friends;
USN during the Cold War.
USMC during the Cold War.
US Army during the Cold War.

First cousin's husband USMC currently in Iraq.
Brother in Law's Best Friend LT Col. USMC just returned from Iraq. Brother in Law's baby Brother reports to USMC boot Camp in May.

A heartfelt thanks to all who have worn or will wear the Uniform to fight and maybe die for the Freedoms that so many of us take for granted. To the families of those who didn't return, to our brethern and their families in other lands.

LEST WE FORGET
Chip2447 (USN Vet 1978-1982)


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: number 6
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 06:53 PM

I think the above post is more related to a seperate thread. I don't believe we want to debate this here. This thread is for those of us to pay homage, respect and rememberance to the ones who scarficed their lives.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: bobad
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 06:59 PM

I know this poem has probably been posted here many times before but I don't think it is inappropriate to post it once again on this day.

I spent the best part of my working life in the same hospital ( the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal ) that Dr. McCrae worked in and walked past his photo and handwritten copy of his poem in the lobby thousands of times. It never failed to make me remember and appreciate.


In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

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.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Beer
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 08:40 PM

Number 6,
It's unfortunate that the above by guest made it to this post. I was watching the parent post and keeping my fingers crossed as it was one away from leaving the site then guest had to spoil it. However this year has been really great with some great(sad) stories.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: jimmyt
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 09:29 PM

My Grandfather, John R. Stiles, left his farm home in Ohio, crossed to Canada and joined the Canadian Army and served for three years in France and Belgium in World War 1. He returned at the end of the war, had difficulties getting back into America due to his serving in the Canadian Army and while waiting to sort out the papers, he fell in love with a lovely English lass, Mildred Maude Victoria Blake, who had just come over to Canada a few years before from Great Yarmouth. They were married, moved back to Ohio and raised 11 children, among which was my mom.

My father, William C Todd lied about his age and joined the Army Air Corps, and flew 32 missions in WW2 as a tail gunner on a B17 stationed in Diss in Norfolk. Actually the first few missions he was a ball turret gunner but then he put on a little weight and ballooned up to 165 with the good English grub and beer and alas was relegated to the tailgunner. Ball turret gunners had to be rather small.

My uncle Fred Stiles, was also stationed in Norfolk but flew B 24s. He was shot down on Easter Sunday 1945 over Bremerhoven, his plane crashed in a small town in Denmark. A young lad saw the plane come down and rode his bicycle out to the wreck, helped the two survivors to a haystack where he hid them out for a day from the Germans, and then arranged for the Danish underground to rescue them and get them to Norway to safety a few days later. My Uncle was not one of the survivors. He was buried in Denmark as an unknown American soldier for several years until his remains were identified and he, along with the remains of another airman are now buried in Arlington Cemetary in a single grave. I was able to go to Denmark a few years ago to meet the elderly gentleman who as a young boy had rescued the 2 airman from my uncle's plane. We went to the crash site, then to the cemetary where we placed flowers, an American flag and a Danish flag on the mass grave that remains there to this day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: Beer
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 09:41 PM

Thanks for sharing this great story jimmyt.
Beer


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: mg
Date: 11 Nov 05 - 10:13 PM

I sent them to die guest. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Veterans' (Armistice) Day - moderated
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Nov 05 - 06:27 PM

The last Aussie veteran who actively served in WWI died back in October this year - there is one guy left who signed up, but did not leave Australia before the end of hostilities.


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