Monday, 8 November 2010

Remembrance Day 11th November 2010




"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, 1914


The above extract is from Laurence Binyon's poem "For the Fallen", (originaly published in The Times in September 1914) .
The poem honoured the World War I British war dead of that time and in particular the British Expeditionary Force, which had by then already had high casualty rates on the developing Western Front. Over time, the third and fourth stanzas of the poem (although often just the fourth) were claimed as a tribute to all casualties of war, regardless of state.


This extract is known as the 'Ode of Remembrance', recited on Remembrance Sunday around the world; the line "Lest we forget" is often added to the end of the ode, which is repeated in response by those listening along with the final line of the ode, "We will remember them".

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