Saturday, November 11, 2006

11am 11th November

Above is the Cenotaph in Opio where wreathes and flowers were laid today at 11am by the Maire to commemorate the dead of the Great War.

Anthem For Doomed Youth
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness ofpatient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

Wilfred Owen.

My grandfather enlisted before he was 18 and survived the War but my mother told me he would never speak of it.


b/sistersshoes said...

That is not the first time I have heard that said about the men who fought in that war.

Such a sad poem, but telling of the time.

snuggles on this dreary day,

Anonymous said...

My grandfather wouldn't speak a word about the war either. In fact he kept saying that when the war ended so had his experience with it. Later on he was awarded the Kings medal for his efforts but he kept it in the loft until my uncle brought it all out and framed it with photos from the war years to honour him. But I don't know whether my grandfather actually appreciated it.
I've asked my grandmother about the war times and she don't mind telling and I just love hearing it all. It's enriching to learn about their life and past which is not that long ago but all too easy to forget.

Hooker said...

It occured to me the other day that WWI veterans are down to maybe the tens in number. I'd love to sit down with a couple of them to talk for a few hours.