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Lest we forget

"They went with song 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" For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon 

Twice in the last century the New World came to the liberation of the Old.  We have a privilege, honour and  duty to keep the memory of such gallant deeds burning bright.  

Over two thousand years ago Perciles wrote "Each has won a glorious grave - not that sepulchre of earth wherein they lie, but the living tomb of everlasting remembrance wherein their glory is enshrined. For the whole earth is the sepulchre of heroes. Monuments may rise and tablets be set up to them in their own land, but on far-off shores there is an abiding memorial that no pen or chisel has traced; it is graven not on stone or brass, but on the living hearts of humanity.

Take these men for your example. Like them, remember that prosperity can be only for the free, that freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."

In La Guerre Mondiale (World War I) Over a million men and women from the far corners of the Commonwealth and Empire died in the lush fields that today look so bucolically at the blue sky of Northern Europe.  One family added to there son's headstone this poignant inscription "In far off Fiji he heard the call of his King and country.  He came, he died."

In World War Two American Gardens of Remembrances, graveyards of Britons, Canadians, South Africans, Australians, Indians  and other of the citizens and subjects of His Majesty, the King, lay in endless rows forever.  Their blood has refreshed the tree of Liberty.

Those who come after us must remember those who came before us.  We are faced with a disquieting resurgence of extremist ideologies, these dangerous movements bear in them the seeds of the bitter weed of fresh violence. We must be aware and alert By honouring the memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice in the 75 days of the battle of Normandy and of World War I trench hell we will help make the world safer for our children's children.

On 19 November 1863 the embattled American president A Lincoln at Gettysburg spoke these lines "It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain;; .."  

The 11th of September changed our world.  The 11th of September gave new urgency and meaning to the 11th of November. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Our cause should be the safety and security of all the people of our planet.  Our guiding light is the beacon of Remembrance.


Ref Hay Draft of Gettysburg Address
For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon  London in The Winnowing Fan: Poems of the Great War in 1914