Laurence Binyon is most famous for “For the Fallen“, often recited at Remembrance Sunday services in the UK, and an integral part of Anzac Day services in Australia and New Zealand, and November 11th Remembrance Day services in Canada.
The third and fourth verses of the poem (although often just the fourth) have been claimed as a tribute to all casualties of war, regardless of nation.
“They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, 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.”
Remembrance Day (sometimes known as Poppy Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919, the day is also marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries.
Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.) The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.
The memorial evolved out of Armistice Day, which continues to be marked on the same date. The initial Armistice Day was observed at Buckingham Palace, commencing with King George V hosting a “Banquet in Honour of the President of the French Republic” during the evening hours of 10 November 1919. The first official Armistice Day was subsequently held on the grounds of Buckingham Palace the following morning.
Deep Peace, Bill Douglas, 1996
The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. After reading the poem, Moina Michael, a professor at the University of Georgia, wrote the poem, “We Shall Remember,” and swore to wear a red poppy on the anniversary. The custom spread to Europe and the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth within three years.
Madame Anne E. Guerin tirelessly promoted the practice in Europe and the British Empire. In the UK Major George Howson fostered the cause with the support of General Haig. Poppies were worn for the first time at the 1921 anniversary ceremony.
At first real poppies were worn. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I; their brilliant red colour became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war. This blood spilled by the secular progressive powers who declare that they do not need God and Religion.
The saddest fact of their death is that in fact they died in vain. Evil triumphed. WW I, II, and III only slowed it down momentarily. Everything our fathers and grandfathers fought against is now running rampant at the very heart of our own society. In government, health and academia the policies of death triumph everywhere.
I have an atheist acquaintance who recently returned to his homeland to live out his days. I suspect that he will soon discover that real “reality” isn’t even close to what he imagined it was. Occasionally, when things get tough here, and I start to feel sorry for myself, I think I might just run away somewhere like there, but not this day.
His favourite theme when running down believers, especially Christians was all the evil killing of all the Christian religious wars of all the centuries of history. And, as with the current “Global Warming” religious fad, the data simply do not support the rhetoric. But, as one gent in my store said “I DON’T CARE ABOUT FACTS! Everyone knows it’s true.”
Uh-huh, and we just elected Socialist Secular Progressive governments at the Provincial and Federal level who are on record as wanting to expand the state role in eliminating inconvenient people. In fact, now, at the Federal level, one is no longer allowed to even run for office unless one agrees to support killing babies and seniors as required, in the name of “Woman’s Health” or “Quality of Life”. How did we get here? Doesn’t ANYONE understand that decisions and actions have consequences?
Funny thing how Christians in general and Catholics in particular are every gutless pseudo-intellectual non-believer’s favorite target, isn’t it? I would be astounded to see any of the usual suspects running down Muslims publicly. “Je Suis Charlie”, right? Color me amazed at the sheer overwhelming unashamed hypocrisy of the whole damned lot of them.
There are, obviously, individuals and groups who still misuse religion as a reason for violent behavior, but modern nation states don’t need religion as an excuse for going to war. Every major war in the last 300 years has been fought by nation states, not by the church. (death toll so far: 251.53 million conservative estimate and counting).
In America’s history alone, the 4 year re-conquest of the secessionist states in the Civil War with a death toll of more than 620,000 killed and millions more injured, was a far bloodier event than the several hundred years of re-conquest of the Holy Land by the now despised Crusaders.
Current estimates found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_war. place the highest estimated death toll for Christian religious wars at 18-20 million dead from all causes including civilian deaths from famine and disease , genocides and massacres. The lowest estimate is about 5 to 6 million.
It would seem that, whatever one’s views, reality lies somewhere in between, given the extraordinary range reported and the probable biases of the reporters depending on their religious or non-religious views. But even taking the highest estimates as veritable they are still dwarfed by the death tole inflicted by the godless progressive secular state and it’s multitude of minions in all it’s wars.
The state apparatus for investigating civilians now is far more extensive than anything dreamed up by the Spanish Inquisition, although both were created to serve the same purpose: to preserve a government’s public ideology and control of society, whether based on religion or on modern constitutional order.
Analogies can easily be multiplied, if one wants to push a thesis; but the point is that the greatest threat to world peace and international justice is the nation state gone bad, claiming an absolute power, deciding questions and making “laws” beyond its competence.
And so we find ourselves surrounded and vastly outnumbered by the howling savages and zombies of the moral apocalypse, a kind of last ditch Fort Apache, and like others in history , sometimes you reach a place where you just have to stand and deliver.
I wear my Poppy to remind me of the generations wiped out by an insidious evil flowing through the rivers of self interest in the hearts of our secular masters who believe sacrifice is only for the other guy, the little guy, the suckers, and I thank God this is just boot camp.
Today at Mass, I thought about Boy Trudeau and Red Rachel, and said a prayer for them.
Anduril, Howard Shore, LOTR, 2003
Daily Reading for Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
2 hear this, you who govern great populations, taking pride in your hosts of subject nations!
3 For sovereignty is given to you by the Lord and power by the Most High, who will himself probe your acts and scrutinize your intentions.
4 If therefore, as servants of his kingdom, you have not ruled justly nor observed the law, nor followed the will of God,
5 he will fall on you swiftly and terribly. On the highly placed a ruthless judgement falls;
6 the lowly are pardoned, out of pity, but the mighty will be mightily tormented.
7 For the Lord of all does not cower before anyone, he does not stand in awe of greatness, since he himself has made small and great and provides for all alike;
8 but a searching trial awaits those who wield power.
9 So, monarchs, my words are meant for you, so that you may learn wisdom and not fall into error;
10 for those who in holiness observe holy things will be adjudged holy, and, accepting instruction from them, will find their defense in them.
11 Set your heart, therefore, on what I have to say, listen with a will, and you will be instructed.
“PIPPIN: I didn’t think it would end this way.
GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.
PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?
GANDALF: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
PIPPIN: Well, that isn’t so bad.
GANDALF: No. No, it isn’t.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings