Sunday, 9 November 2008

Time to Reflect

In Flanders' Fields

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, 1915.

Yesterday, The Arsenal's match against Manchester United honoured those servicemen and women who gave their lives for peace.

Arsenal players wore a special one-off shirt with a poppy embroidered into their red and white home kit.

Following the match, the shirts will be signed by each player and auctioned and raffled in aid of these two organisations that support servicemen and women and their families: The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.

Chris Simpkins, Director General of The Royal British Legion, said: "Once again we are most grateful for the support of Arsenal Football Club and its loyal supporters. As the national custodian of Remembrance, we are delighted that players and fans will stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a silent moment of tribute and reflection. As an Armed Forces charity, we will ensure the funds raised help to support Armed Forces past and present, and their families.

" Bryn Parry, Co founder of Help for Heroes said: “This is a wonderful idea and we are so grateful to Arsenal for their support. Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal are working closely together to ensure that, especially at this time of year, we remember those who have died as well as fundraise to care for those who have been wounded in the service of our country. The association with sport and with football in particular, will strike a chord with our servicemen and women who will gain strength from knowing they are being supported by the Gunners.”

A very nice touch.
As is this poem :


Josie-Mary said...

Morning, that's a lovely post, I do like that poam. I've done a post in the same vain! Just taken a look at the link...did Nich write that??..... it's beautiful. I couldn't leave a comment but if he did write it pass on my thoughts. x

Mr Snippets said...

A day of sadness that so many young men and women gave up their lives thus ensuring our liberty and freedom. Their futures for our todays

A day of pride for their achievements

A day of pride that my team The Gunners not only wore the poppy with pride to raise money for this worthwhile charity but beat our arch enemy Manchester United

Further, a day of pride that I know Nichgull the author of the second moving poem " Mine are the guns"

He is my son, not my natural son , but my son none the less and I am VERY proud of him

Nichgull said...

They read In Flanders Fields out on the radio this morning, and I don't think one would ever be able to put it better.

That said, I would like to share with you an extract from Erich Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. i'm sorry it's a bit long.

"The months drag on. The summer of 1918 is the bloodiest and the hardest. The days are like angels in blue and gold, rising up untouchable above the circle of destruction. Everyone knows that we are losing the war. Nobody talks about it much. We are retreating. We won't be able to attack again after this massive offensive. We have no more men and no more ammunition.

But the campaign goes on - the dying continues.

Summer 1918. Never has life in its simplest outline seemed so desirable to us as it does now; the poppies in the fields near our base camp, the shiny beetles on the blades of grass, the warm evenings in the cool, half-dark rooms, mysterious trees at twilight, the stars and the streams, and the long sleep. Oh, life, life, life.

Summer 1918. Never has more been suffered in silence as in the moment when we set off for the front. The wild and urgent rumours of an armistice and peace have surfaced again, they disturb the heart and make setting out harder than ever.

Summer 1918. Never has life at the front been more bitter and more full of horror than when we are under fire, when the pallid faces are pressed into the mud and the fists are clenched and your whole being is saying, No! No! No, not now! Not now at the very last minute!

Summer 1918. A wind of hope is sweeping over the burnt-out fields, a raging fever of impatience, of disappointment, the most agonizing terror of death, the impossible question: why? Why doesn't this stop? And why are all these rumours about it ending?"

Wild Rose said...

Hi Sal,

This is such a beautiful post and did you know that John McCrae was a Canadian?

Remembrance Day is observed on Tuesday here in Canada, so I am saving my post until then. I miss the pomp and ceremony of watching the Queen at the Cenotaph and the big parade through Whitehall.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Wish I could join you in Devon for one of those cream teas!

I read in your profile that you sell fabrics on eBay ~ how do I find your shop?


April said...

what a beautiful post. I shall be marking rememberance day on Tuesday in my blog

April xx

April said...

I've left you an award on my blog, please come and see

April xx

this is my patch said...

We observed the two-minute silence this morning. Lovely post and thanks for remembering. x

Kitty said...

A lovely post. The children and I sat and watched the BBC programme and adhered to the 2 minutes silence. It's important to remember.


thriftymrs said...

I totally agree that we should all stop and remember.

Simone said...

I observed the 2 minutes silence this morning and will do so again on Tuesday 11/11/08 at 11.00am. Each time it brings a lump to my throat.

Tristan B said...

An excellent and touching post. What a fantastic gesture by Arsenal - I have a new-found respect for football!

summerfete said...

thankyou Sal spot on as always x

Rosie said...

Great post, wonderful poem. Last year I linked my post to a wonderful blog- - well worth a visit. Chris Simpkin was the Chief Executive of the Council I worked for in Lincolnshire a few years ago, he went to the Falklands from there and now I'm pleased to see he is Director General of the Royal British Legion.

anne bebbington said...

I hadn't realised that Arsenal had done that - a clever practical way to mark the occasion and raise money for a good cause too - hats off to them :o)