Wednesday, 24 April 2013

LEST WE FORGET



IN FLANDERS FIELDS

An old man now, stooped and frail – skin like parchment,
hands that trembled,
eyes misted blue with age. 
 Watery or perhaps teary from remembering old mates.
  Those young lads from country towns who fought so bravely.
Fearless larrikins, who fought and died
 and offered their comradeship far from home.

As he looked across the wild flower meadow he remembered it as it was.
Pock marked with shell holes 
with the traces of gas still in the air,
Coils of barbed wire
 sharp, 
snaggy, 
impenetrable.
 Festooned with bodies - khaki and red .
Caught just like the wool on the fences back home.

But there the distant horizons stretched into infinity –
 the air was crisp and clean,
mellifluous bird -song permeated the air,
 and the gentle sounds of ewes calling to lambs
Water trickling down the gully into the creek bed below
  was calming and soothing
and cleansing.
At home he found the peace he craved – 
respite from the memories.


He didn’t want to remember the battle fields of France
 ablaze with red poppies,
but every year he did – 
the unbidden memories creeping into his head,
the tremors shaking his old bones. 
 He was soldiering on – 
but longed for peace.
For the world,
 for himself 
and for those who rested now in wild flower meadows.


Maureen Clifford © 



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ANZAC DAY 2013


I came across the following article which I considered to be noteworthy and something that should make Australians proud.  Blessings to Brendan Nelson for instigating an idea that is so simple in its concept and yet will deliver such a strong and meaningful  message

Taken from an article by

 Tony Wright - NATIONAL AFFAIRS EDITOR OF THE AGE


Anzac Day 2013 – Lest we forget.  The Australian War Memorial begins a new nightly ritual.
As the memorial begins closing down for the evening at 4.50pm, a piper will play the

Lament, and the story of one of the 102,000 names inscribed on the memorial's honour roll

will be read. One evening it might be the life story of a nurse, the next a sailor, the next a

soldier or an airman; plucked from any of the wars in which Australians have fought and

died. Finally, a bugler will play the Last Post.
The idea for the ritual came to the memorial all the way from Ypres.

Night after night those stories will unfold, and then the Last Post, the traditional military

signal of the end of the day and, for the dead, a reminder that their duty is done, will be

played.
The war memorial will not easily run out of stories to tell - certainly not in our lifetimes, or

those of our children or grandchildren. The 102,000 stories behind the names currently on

the Roll of Honour are enough for 279 years of nightly rituals.  The evening closing ceremony

 will be streamed live on the memorial's website: awm.gov.au/


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