At The Cenotaph

I stand each year at the cenotaph

And see my flag against the sky.

Amidst a crowd of young and old

I remember those who died.

We gather there in silence,

To remember for a spell.

Each person there in reverence,

A red poppy in lapel.

We remember that many a generation

Has answered to the call,

To send the young from many nation

To claim freedom for us all.

They answered the call to cross the foam

To fight on land and air and sea,

They left their families back at home

To go and fight for you and me.

Half starved, cold and hurt for many night

Often alone across the sea,

They braved the dreadful battles

So we might live in liberty

In quagmire trenches

They fought in cold and flood,

In smells of gas and gun and gangrene stenches

Lay bodies broken soaked in blood.

On foot, in plane, on battleship

They battled for our right

And even once themselves found peace

One quiet Christmas night.

In flying jets and submarines

They still fight for freedom's cause

That we will know what freedom means

Remember with red poppy and silent pause.

Will power and greed ever cease

To steal the lives of youth?

Will there ever be a lasting peace

With Freedom, honour, truth?

To see my flag against the sky,

To hear bugle, pipe and drum.

I remember always why they died,

The price of freedom won

At the cenotaph I stand with pride

'Neath bronzed soldiers on cement.

I remember why those soldiers died,

What their sacrifice has meant.

Let not be lost in vain their life

But remembered each generation.

Why we live in freedom free of strife

All across our nation.

Now each year we take time to pause

At the cenotaph to remember,

Who gave up life for freedom's cause,

A vigil we keep each cold November.

I thank them everyday I live,

Freedom's opportunities I seize,

And pray to God the price they give

Brings ever lasting peace.

I will always wear a poppy.

In my lapel it will be set,

To remind me of those soldiers lost,

Lest we forget.

With tightened throat and eyes so full

My cries I try to stifle,

When at the cenotaph I stand

With helmets rested on tripod of rifle.

Paton Lodge Lindsay

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