Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lest We Forget

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.

- John McCrae

Living down in the United States makes one a little more aware of the military than I think most Canadians are used to. I received an e-mail over the weekend reminding me of some Veteran's Day activities that were taking place today and tomorrow, and it noted that some 52 of my classmates are active or former service members. It was somewhat striking today to see the active duty members wearing their uniforms on campus. And it is always sobering when we are discussing a security related issue in class, such as managing the reconstruction of Iraq, and inevitably someone raises their hand with a unique perspective because they were actually there.

In honour of Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day tomorrow, allow me to share with you a song that was written by my step-brother and performed by the Gospel group Avalon which seems most appropriate for the occasion:

For Freedom

Somewhere a trumpet sounds in the night
A soldier is standing there
It’s calling him out to the stars and the stripes
It’s calling him God knows where

He kisses the ones he loves goodbye
and leaves in the dead of night
For freedom he’ll heed the call
Leave all he knows
(duet) And for freedom he’ll stand and fight

And somewhere a man and wife
can’t believe they’re waving their girl goodbye
For gone are the days of pigtails and curls and candlelight lullabies

If they had their way she’d stay young forever
and never be far from home
But freedom has drawn her heart to danger’s shore
And for freedom they’ll let her go

And somewhere a thunderous crash in the night
It echoes all through the hills

Though many escape it’s wrath and it’s rage
A soldier lies wounded still

Melissa / Janna:
Remembering the land he loves, he cries
I’ve loved you with all my might
For freedom said I’m her son whatever comes (whatever comes)
And for freedom I’ll say goodbye


And somewhere beneath the stars and the sky
Our flag is still standing there (she’s still standing there)
She bled and she brought one land under God (under God)
Her colors still lead us there (it’s still there)

She’s carried the lives of those before us
She’s buried the bold and brave
For freedom she holds our hopes and and hands up high
And for freedom she’ll ever wave

Written by Matt Moran
Produced by Shaun Shankel
©2005 Meadowgreen Music