The Eleventh Hour

by | Jun 27, 2008 | Poetry | 0 comments

each year they gather, the Queen at their head
to salute the fallen and honour the dead
in assorted attire and smartly dressed
with medals and honours bright on their chests
these gallant old men who fought alongside
and watched in horror as their comrades died
they remember in silence, some with tears
memories haunting them down through the years

the service is sombre, the ritual spare
just dignified pride to show how they care
solemn prayers are offered, fine tributes paid
garlands and wreaths of poppies are laid
the bugles sound a haunting last post
a respectful silence falls over the host
with two minutes to ponder the terrible price
paid for our freedom in a blood sacrifice

the silence ends with the notes of reveille
and the veterans re-form for their closing rally
proudly they muster and march on parade
a pageant of honour, not a charade
their numbers are fewer each passing year
but the act of remembrance is simple and clear
to salute the fallen and honour the dead
and challenge the living to try peace instead


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