Saturday, 25 April 2009
Anthem for Doomed Youth ~Wilfred Owen 1893-1918
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
-Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
For us, today is not about the glory of war - there is none. It is about paying tribute to men who, in years gone by, because of the decisions made by others, left our shores to fight for freedom.
We go to ANZAC ceremonies to remember those men and remind ourselves that it is our responsibility as individuals and as a nation to find solutions to conflicts rather than send our youngest and freshest faces to fight for us on foreign soil.