Lest We Forget

It will soon be Remembrance Sunday.

To all the servicemen and women who gave their lives fighting for what they believed to be right, I say Rest In Peace.

To those still engaged in conflict I pray you’ll return home safe and in one piece.

To those dregs of humanity who harbour hatred for others, I pour scorn on you.

To those who believe that religion, no matter which one, is the key to peace, I laugh at your stupidity

Totally with you Chowder.

When you look back on things there are so many who have fallen along the way.

But we’re still here and I think about it often.

God bless them all.

The Flowers of the Forest


“In some faithful heart are you forever enshrined?”


Thank you, chowder.
We appreciate your support.

SSG Schwartz

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.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae

What Chowder said.

On behalf of myself, currently in Afghanistan, my son, newly returned from Iraq, and my husband, who continues the fight as a civilian after 20 years of service, I thank you for the kind words.

Capt Ileen Verble, USAF, Nurse Corps

mother of

PFC Austin Verble, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment

wife of

MSgt (Ret) Keith Verble, USAF

They shall not grow 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 shall remember them

4th stanza from For The Fallen by Laurence Binyon

This is for those who went, despite their countrymen’s lack of appreciation.


*I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, 'ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of 'eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of 'eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of 'is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!*

-Rudyard Kipling. 1865-1936

And 'bless your heart, Capt. Verble, and your family’s.

I usually get a poppy for a handful of loose change. This year I stuffed a five dollar bill into the donation jar and gave the kind, elderly gentleman distributing the poppies a sincere thank you, from the bottom of my heart. He knew I meant it.

I don’t think my mother will mind if I post what she wrote to us kids last year:


Hello everyone.

I was listening to a local cbc program - the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart Mclean - and he has a lovely rememberance day tribute. It’s a long podcate - 50 minutes. This link takes you straight to the mp3: http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/vinylcafe_20081108_8957.mp3

That’s an awesome song, because if you’ve never heard it before, it starts out pretending to be another sabre-rattler war song, and it lets you believe that until it hits you with one line:

"Well, I hope you died well and I hope you died clean
Or, young Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?"

Most moving war song ever, IMHO.

Lest we forget.

Rememberance Day is called Armistice Day in Aus, and happens on the 11th day of the 11th month, regardless of the day of the week it falls. At 11.00am on this day each year, the cities come to a standstill for a minutes silence…and a really eerie experience it is too, to be in the middle of a bustling noisy CBD that suddenly goes completely dead for a minute. All public transport stops, then the cars follow and the people realise that it’s time to stand still and listen to the silence.

A single bugler ends the quiet time, and regardless of the age, gender or ethnicity of the folks within earshot, hankies are pulled and many a teary eye is dabbed.

BTW, ‘Flowers of the Forest’ is a song by Scottish ex-pat-now-dinkum-
Aussie Eric Bogle called No Man’s Land. Listen to it in the original, it’s brilliant. Try also, ‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’.

Cheers folks.

May they rest in peace.
No Man’s Land a/k/a Green Fields of France refers to Flowers of the Forest, but Bogle didn’t write it. The tune is an old Scottish one, and the two different sets of lyrics date to the 18th century.

It’s a well-known pipe tune, as mentioned in the wiki article:

Link to a youtube rendition, at a memorial service in the Falklands: Piping on the Two Sisters, Falkland Islands.

Yes. Thank you, all of you, who protect us, have sacrificed, have died so that we can live the good lives we do.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, is Veterans Day in the United States. In our family it never goes forgotten, and neither will you.

God bless you. :slight_smile:

“And on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns fell silent.”

But not before a last-minute frenzy of bombardment as artillerists attempted to fire off as many of their stockpiled rounds as possible, and not before commanders all across the Western Front inexplicably sent their men forward into machine-gun fire one last time, knowing beforehand that it would be moot at 11:00. It’s been estimated that 11,000 additional casualties were incurred in these senseless assaults.

For the soldiers, I bow my head in respect; for their commanders, I find it much more difficult.

Although I am an American, I’ll give a nod to chowder’s side of the pond:

England is a Garden, by John Keegan

The quintessential SDMB remembrance thread

Eight years on and I still tear up reading it.

The BBC ran a documentary just last week about this very subject. It seems that one of the worst offenders was General Pershing who, just like Patton in WW2, didn’t want to stop until he had reached Berlin. Evidently there was an enquiry back in Washington after the war about all those unnecessary death, but the findings were hushed up for some reason or other.