Monday, 11 November 2013

A solemn day for many: Remembrance Day 2013

Little specks of snow
Cats sleep
Victims wail overseas

Cannons fire in remembrance
Veterans weep
Children squirm in line

Remembrance Day Reflections

Statues frozen in time
Soldiers stand in line
Children mourn soldiers lost
War is waged
At what cost?

Veterans old and young
Live on, their songs unsung
Young outweigh the old
Standing in the cold
Young outrank the old
Suffering untold

Hearts and minds in tatters
Reality starkly shatters
For scars remain, untreated
Veterans they're cheated
Lead us not into temptation
Meet their needs, our nation

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." 

~ John F. Kennedy 
Perth, 2012

It's been a week of loss. Thousands are presumed dead by Typhoon Haiyan, in the Phillipines. Without infrastructure there is looting by those in poverty, without water, food, shelter. They are in the dark, without power, in the rain. Roads are blocked, bodies lie in the street. No body bags, no place to store the bodies.
At the very least, the Philippine delegate to the UN, speaking on climate change, calls for a stop to this madness. He received a standing ovation. “It's time to stop this madness” – Philippines plea at UN climate talks.

On the other hand, Remembrance Day Ceremonies tell us of lives lost. Lives changed by war, seen and unseen. Those who face PTSD have been abandoned by our government. Discharged for being unable to serve due to physical and psychosocial issues, we should be ashamed.

I put my heart into these poems, since the smiling powers-that-be gather on the hill to honour: Lest We Forget. Yet they forget the veterans of the present day wars. Wars on terror; Afghanistan veterans who suffer PTSD, limb loss and livelihood. 


eileeninmd said...

Lovely tribute for Remembrance Day! And my thoughts and prayer go out to the Philippine people. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You make some excellent points Jenn that would apply here in the US too sadly.

Red said...

War is seen by some as simple but it is extremely complicated as you point out. There are many things that are influenced

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari oM
'at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them...'

Loved these recent posts Jenn. Wonderful tribute. YAM xx

Christine said...

Do you mean the Phillipines, not Thailand?

Kay L. Davies said...

I love your poems, Jenn, especially the third one. It is horrific to think of the devastation in the Philippines, and unbelievable to think of Canadian war veterans left to fend for themselves.
I couldn't face writing something new today, it is all just too much, so I made a few small changes in a poem about a family war hero to submit to the Real Toads site. Being Monday, it was Open Link, but Kerry did suggest we might write about Remembrance.
How quickly some people forget, especially people in positions of power.
Love, K