Thursday, 11 November 2010

Remembrance Day

Remember Ypres, the Somme, Mons, and Verdun.
Remember the Western Desert, El Alamein, the Normandy beaches.
Remember Dresden, Hiroshima and the Burma Road.
Remember Korea, the Falkland Islands, Northern Island, Iraq.
Remember the courage, the comradeship, the ingenuity,
the spirit of working together for a common cause,
the planning together for a better world
that would come with peace.
Remember the call to arms, the patriotic songs, the posters,
the partings which were such sweet sorrow,
the sound of the drum, the skirl of the pipe,
the prayer that God would be on our side.
Remember the carnage, the colossal, stinking, bloody horror;
the ripped bodies on the wire,
the platoons of which only three out of forty lived.
Remember the widows of sixty years and more,
the old men and women living now who never knew their fathers.
Remember the love that was lost, the wisdom wasted,
the minds that were twisted and the limbs distorted.
Remember the wealth of nations being fired from guns, dropped as
bombs: smashing schools, homes, factories, churches and
ruining crops, destroying trees,
Remember the hope of a whole generation
left to evaporate in the sands of a desert
or sink forever in the oceans of the world.
Remember this day the children who will die
while the world spends its wealth on arms;
the young who have no work
while others in their generation are trained to fight;
The ambulances that will not come
while we argue about how many troop carriers we need;
the research into disease left neglected
w hile brilliant minds are used to study more effective destruction.
Remember the one who asked us to remember him.
Graham Cook
O Lord, remember not only the men and women of goodwill but also those of ill will. But do not only remember all the suffering they have inflicted upon us. Remember the fruits we bought, thanks to the suffering: our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this. And when they come to judgement, let all the fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.
Prayer of a condemned Jew in Belsen.

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