So, when old hopes that earth was bettering slowly
Were dead and damned, there sounded ‘War is done!’
One morrow. Said the bereft, and meek, and lowly,
‘Will men some day be given to grace? yea, wholly,
And in good sooth, as our dreams used to run?‘
Aye; all was hushed. The about-to-fire fired not,
The aimed-at moved away in trance-lipped song.
Calm fell. From Heaven distilled a clemency;
There was peace on earth, and silence in the sky;
Some could, some could not, shake off misery…
~Thomas Hardy from “And There Was a Great Calm”
(On the Signing of the Armistice, 11 Nov. 1918)
When you go home tell them of us and say –
“For your tomorrow we gave our today”
~John Maxwell Edmonds from “The Kohima Epitaph”
I’m unsure why the United States does not call November 11 Remembrance Day as the Commonwealth nations did 102 years ago at the Armistice. This is a day that demands much more than the more passive name Veterans’ Day represents.
This day calls all citizens who appreciate their freedoms to stop what they are doing and disrupt the routine rhythm of their lives. We are to remember in humble thankfulness the generations of military veterans who sacrificed time, resources, sometimes health and well being, and too often their lives in answering the call to defend their countries and ensure tomorrows for all.
~never forgetting what it costs to defend freedom.
~acknowledging the millions who have given of themselves and continue to do so on our behalf.
~never ceasing to acknowledge the misery endured by soldiers.
~a commitment to provide resources needed for the military to remain strong and supported.
~unending prayers for their safe return home to family and futures.
~teaching the next generation about the sacrifices that have been made by men and women on their behalf.
Remembrance of our veterans should also encourage us as foot soldiers in our current battle with a virus. In this fight, we are called to sacrifice our preferences, our comfort and our personal liberties for the good of the whole.
We have generations of selfless role models to look to for inspiration:
we individually endure a measure of misery today in order to preserve countless tomorrows for all.
One thought on “Some Could, Some Could Not Shake Off Misery…”
Very beautiful, Emily. I flew two flags today: American Stars & Stripes and the U.S. Marine Corps Colors in memory of my two former Marine brothers (Korea and Vietnam) who died recently within six months of each other. (The Corps’ birthday is celebrated on November 10.)
They believed and honored that what they were doing in defense of our country was right and just.
The picture of the tree is a haunting meditation piece that says so much in a quiet, still meaningful way — the bent and bare limbs and the rising sun on a new day infused in the middle…. I still have a lump in my throat ( stifled cry) and will copy it for more insight later.
Because you are Spirit-filled, you seem always to know exactly what we, your readers, need at any given point. Don’t stop. He will let you know when it is time….
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