Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lest we forget their sacrifice

Ode of Remembrance

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal,
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation,
And a glory that shines upon her tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known,
As the stars are known to the night.

As the stars will be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

~ Laurence Binyon, 1914 

On Remembrance Sunday I'm remembering my granddad - mum's dad, who died in WWII. My mum never got to know him as he died in the war when she was a baby. He's buried in Nijmegen Holland - in the Canadian War Cemetery (he's not Canadian!).

I'm also thinking about my lovely granddad (Dad's dad) who became a prisoner of war in May 1940, and was forced to work in E535 Sosnowitz West Coal Mine by the Nazis - this was part of the Stalag VIII-B prisoner of war camp. Grandddad then was taken on a death march from Katowice Poland to Mirskofen Germany where he was liberated. The walk took four months January to April 1945 and covered hundreds and hundreds of miles as they practically wandered about Europe with their crazed captors. Granddad doesn't like to talk about it...I can't imagine what it was like.   But I still have my granddad, he survived and I am so grateful for that.

I'm also thinking about all those Jews and others that the Nazis put into the concentration camps and work camps in WWII who suffered so much.  We must never forget their suffering and we must pray for their families. All those millions who died such senseless deaths.  I've been reading a book about a young Jewish girl who went into Belsen concentration camp - oh what those people suffered, it's haunted me for days.  Those poor people.  But you know, there are concentration camps right now in North Korea, people are suffering incomprehensibly right now: Camp 22 and Yodok. I've been praying so much for the people incarcerated in these wicked places - many of whom are Christians imprisoned simply because they are Christian.

I'm also remembering those soldiers who are serving all over the world right now.  I pray for them and their families.

One day when the Lord comes every tear will be wiped away, there will be no more suffering, until then we pray, we hope, we yearn for peace in Jesus.

What a Day that Will Be

There is coming a day,
When no heart aches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye,
All is peace forever more,
On that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
~ Jim Hill, 1955


  1. I'm *so thankful* for all those who have served and are currently serving.

    And I've been thinking of those in the North Korean camps too...It is truly, truly terrible.....

    Your song is such a blessing. A beautiful promise of hope. :)

  2. So much sadness, so much sacrifice, so much pointless hatred that is war.
    How wonderful that your grandad survived those awful camps.