Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Remembrance Day, 2009

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

Anthem for Doomed Youth, Wilfred Owen
September - October, 1917

Lest We Forget.


matthias said...

I would like to pay tribute to one ANZAC in particular seeing as THAT generation are no more with us. He lead an action on the Western front that resulted in him being awarded a Military Cross but also sustaining machine gun injuries to the jaw. He was a Christian,by the grace of God his wound was healed and he became an evangelist.His name was John Ridley.He preached at St Barnabas's Church in reevesby in Sydney and spoke about wanting to write Eternity on the hearts of men and women across the city. one of his hearers was also FIRST AIF but had been a alcoholic who went to the church to get soup and a rock bun and came out with The Rock of Ages.This latter fellow came out of that service and began to write ETERNITY in Copperplate across Sydney- 'Mr Eternity' Arthur Stace. Thus challenging people to consider their lives. All coming from one Returned soldier who was a commited Christian

Mark Henderson said...

Thanks for that Matthias, I knew about Arthur Stace, of course, but not John Ridley.
Overseas readers who watched the Sydney Olympics might remember the word Eternity lit up on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the closing ceremony. Wikipedia has a good article on Arthur Stace here

Melanchthon said...

Thank you for this. As Christians, we know the importance of remembrance, but too often forget.


Mark Henderson said...

Thanks Jon.
I think in the US you call it Veterans Day?
I like the nuance that 'remembrance' lends to the title.
In Australia we also have the Anzac Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) holiday on the 25th April commemorating the Gallipoli landing, which has really become our Veterans Day.

matthias said...

John Ridley's action was at BULLECOURT in 1918,and he carried supplies to comrades under fire.
I was blessed to hear him preach when i was 8 and he was not long from dying at a great age

Mark Henderson said...

Matthias, that must be quite a special memory for you! I think John Ridley and I may have had our doctrinal differences, but as a preacher of Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins I can certainly acknowledge him as a brother - "he who is not against us is for us". There is a website with audio of his sermons on it - do you know of it? I just don't have the address right now.

matthias said...

Pastor it is
sometimes my memory fails me but thank you