11th hour of the 11th day


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FNQ Australia
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, fell 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 falling hands we throw the torch: be yours to hold high.

If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields.

By Colonel John McCrea

Have you still got your tin hat with you,
Old pal who has gone before?

Do you still wear the dear old uniform
That I knew in the days of war?

What's it like there across the border,
Now you've taken the long, long trail?

Do you wake to the call of reveille?

And still hear retreat's last wail?

Grand! Grand! was your smile at parting,
And the look in your fading eyes,

As you signed your transfer papers
To the Army beyond the skies.

I'd like to have seen your greeting
At the Heavenly Barrack gate,

When the Great White Chief, with His hand outstretched,
Said "Welcome!" and "Well done, mate!"

Old man-we miss you badly,
You were always a darned good sort,

And we gather together once a year
Just to think of you, old sport.

And we're wondering very sadly
If you're thinking of us that way,

As the clock booms out the eleventh hour
Of the eleventh month and day.

Goodbye! old boy, I must leave you,
Things aren't too good down here ;

But! we're playing the game as you did,
For the sake of your memory dear.

And, perchance, at the last reveille,
When the Great Chief calls His men,

I too shall be there beside you,
With my hand in yours again.

Herbert Swaffield.
Second Lieutenant,
London Regiment.
Since there seems to be a large disportional number of vets running around these parts this seems to be a good place to do this.

Thanks to each and every one of you who served.

I turned 18 in 1973 just as things were really turning to shit in SE Asia. I figured I had a pretty good chance that Uncle Sam was going to come look for me to come join in the fun. I went and talked to a Air Force recruiter to try and end up in the service I prefered. He told me to go back to college and come back talk to them when I finished. Soon after President Ford ended the draft and even registration.

The net of all this is that I have lived my entire life enjoying the freedom that all the vets here earned with their blood, sweat and tears.

A heartfelt thanks to all of you.

A big thank you to all my fellow squids, grunts, devil dogs, and flyboys. I am thankful you all now stand relieved but I rest easy knowing that the watch is still being stood, I will never forget those who were never relieved and now stand the eternal watch.

Semper Fortis/ This We'll Defend/ Semper Fidelis/ Aim High... Fly, Fight-Win/ Semper Paratus!
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