The War To End Wars
11th November, 1918 - Armistice Day
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month guns fell silent; peace was declared the war the end wars was over.
And here we are over ninety years later, parts of the war are still at war. What a testament.
I'm not particularly religious, but there's a Remembrance Day poem that has always had special meaning to me on this day. Those of my family, including my father and grand-father who between them fought in the world wars, came home, but all too many men and women from other families didn't. And the sentiments have as much meaning for wars since the 'war to end all wars'.
This year, with my father dying a few weeks ago, Remembrance Day is even more poignant to me and makes me even more thoughtful. We buried Dad a week ago yesterday and the British Legion played a large part in the occasion. They carried his coffin and were involved in lowering the coffin into the ground (it's a Scottish thing). And finally and most poignantly, at the very end after the Minister had done his bit they performed a Poppy Ceremony whereby several of them drop poppy petals down onto the coffin. It was extremely fitting, not only because of the time of year, but also because Mother and I decided on close family flowers only and asked anyone who cared to do so to donate to PoppyScotland. Father hated fuss and ceremony, but he would have approved in this.
Thus I am sharing this with you today, in the hope that we can all remember those who fought and died for us all in whatever war it was.
I'm only quoting the first and last few lines, as it is these that mean the most on this day. The poem is by Helen Steiner Rice and is copied from a book called Lovingly
They served and fought and died
So that we might be safe and free,
Grant them, O Lord, Eternal peace
And give them 'the victory'!
And in these days of unrest,
Filled with grave uncertainty
Let's not forget the price they paid
To keep our country free...
And so, on this Remembrance Day,
We offer up a prayer -
May the people of all Nations
Be united in thy care . . .
The final few lines are also meaningful.
And grant us heavenly guidance
As war threatens us again
For, more than guided missiles
All the world need guided men.