I have always felt very lucky to be born at one of the few times in history there were no wars to get sent away to. I can’t imagine being a soldier. I’m very thankful that I’ve never been in the spot of having to shoot at someone or having someone shoot at me.
We owe a debt that we can never repay to the men and women that sacrificed everything for our freedom.
A few years ago, my son’s class had a field trip to the air museum here and our group’s guide, told us his war story. He flew a Lancaster Bomber and was shot down over Belgium. They parachuted down, and managed to evade the Germans, until they were captured in France. He ended up at Stalag Luft III, where the Great Escape happened. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should. He wasn’t one of the ones that escaped but he helped dig tunnels that 50 men escaped through. All but 3 were recaptured or killed, but it helped the war effort, the Germans took solders off the front lines to search for the escapees.
He told us how he was moved from prison camp to prison camp, moving towards Berlin as Germany was being overrun from both sides. Finally, with the Russians coming closer, the prison guards released the prisoners, and then tried to surrender to them, not wanting to end up in Russian prison camps. I’m lucky to have heard the story from him.
Take a few minutes out of you day to remember those that did so much for us.
I only have one real poem that I can recite from memory, in grade 8 our teacher had us memorize ‘Flanders Fields’. As much as I didn’t like that teacher at the time, I’m glad we did that.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The birds, 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