11.11.20: Pandemic Protocols Silence Public Services, The Fallen And Veterans Are Honored Today Virtually Or In Personal Ways

/Photos by Joe Barkovich

The Welland-Crowland War Memorial is cloaked in silence today, Remembrance Day. COVID-19 restrictions led to cancellation of the increasingly popular, volunteer-organized community observance of the day. A pity.

So, my own personal act of remembrance: I thought I would focus on our war memorial this Remembrance Day, shedding some light (pardon the expression) on a line inscribed across the base and the interesting visual connection we have to it.

The line is from a poem, For The Fallen, by Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published on September 21, 1914.

As it appears on the monument:

AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

Some days, the going down of the sun makes a beautiful backdrop to the Welland-Crowland War Memorial. Some folks might say the scene can be breathtaking. I’m one of them. I love the view, especially when keeping Binyon’s words in mind.

Here’s the poem:

‘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 our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, 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.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
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 that shall 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.’

Yes, we will remember them!

1 thought on “11.11.20: Pandemic Protocols Silence Public Services, The Fallen And Veterans Are Honored Today Virtually Or In Personal Ways

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.