Lest We Forget

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Time might have passed
years have come and gone since the memory was made.
It was people,
people just like you and I
who fought and died on those foreign fields,
brothers, fathers, uncles, sons,
who bodies lay crumpled and lifeless
waiting for someone to come along and give them dignity in death.
War is a terrible thing,
Today we remember,
lest we forget.

We remember the cost of war, in flesh and blood.
We pray, we hope, we plead
that one day,
one day very soon,
those horrors may end,
for still today they continue,
lives lost or maimed forever,
uniforms bloodied by bombs and bullets
the list of names grows ever longer.
Lest we forget.

And, the tortured bodies and minds that did return,
To try and live again, echos still within their heads,
their minds,
their hearts,
of others lost,
of sights that cannot be unseen,
of cries that never quieten,
of what ifs and if onlys.
Lest we forget.

Lest we forget those who in their return,
return to loved ones whose suffering
while quite different
should neither be forgotten.
They too lost, they too gave,
they too paid the price of war.
lives never to be the same again.
families living on,
deadened under a pall of silent pain and suffering.
Lest we forget.

Remember, do not forget the service men and women
Whose lives are lost, except to God and love.
Remember, do not forget those who returned, forever changed.
Remember, do not forget their families,
Remember too, lest we forget.
the countless others whose lives too came to a brutal and abrupt end
whose lives would never be the same again,
in camps and villages,
in homes and fields,
towns and cities,
across the world.
Lest we forget.

For if we forget
then we have failed to learn the cost of war,
the cost not only of lives but of communities,
of respect,
of tolerance
for each and every person is precious in God’s sight.
The mothers and unborn children,
the daughters and wives,
the elderly and the infirm,
the sons and men
to young or too old, to count among the fallen.
Those of every creed and none.
Lest we forget.

Those who could not flee for they had nowhere to flee,
those who dashed for safety,
for shelters that didn’t offer the protection promised.
Those who thought safety had be reached
only to discover new challenges
new dangers, new faces of death.
Those who found a safe haven
but whose lives are
forever overshadowed with haunting memories.
Lest we forget.
For they could not,
can not.
Lest we forget.

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