Remembrance Day

Alberta Craft Remembrance Day Tribute

Alberta read two classic poems and an excerpt:

High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

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.
— by John McCrae, May 1915

From Ode of Remembrance

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 grow not 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.
— Laurence Binyon

Alberta also shared a story of an anonymous hero – her father, who was gassed in WWI. He was rescued from the morgue when it was noticed that his hand moved. After recovering in the Hospital, he was sent back to the battlefield where he was wounded. He survived that too and thankfully for all those who know Alberta, went home to raise a family. Like most men who were gassed, there was a lasting impact on his life, but her father did go on to live a full life.

Alberta lost some family members but her boyfriend Bob who served under Patton and MacArthur, survived and married Alberta.

Kiwanis members are encouraged to add their remembrance day tributes to the anonymous heroes they know of:

More Remembrance Day Tributes:

1. Three years before he married, my wife’s grandfather was gravely wounded in a muddy WWI battlefield. He would have died but his corporal dragged him back to life-saving medics. As they arrived at the trench, the corporal was fatally shot. My father-in-law was keenly aware of the debt owed by him, his brothers, their children, grandchildren, and generations yet to be born. My wife’s father showed his gratitude by living a model life, serving in the RCAF with distinction in WWII, having a fine career as an Insurance executive, and contributing to the community as a volunteer – including establishing a regular speakers series on world events. That series has evolved into what Don and Mary Margaret Macinnes say is a standing room only program at the Fairfield Seniors Centre. Thousands have attended these lectures which were ultimately made possible by an anonymous corporal’s heroism.

Joe Polito