Next Tuesday, April 25, we will gather at the War Memorial, some at 6.00am (6.30 Rugby) for the Dawn Service, most at 10.15am for the parade and 10.30am service. A time to reflect and to realise the ranks of our veterans is thinning. Sometimes one comes across a piece of writing that just has to be shared, such as this poem ‘A Veteran’
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of his past.
Of a war that he once fought in; And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies, they were heroes every one.
And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbours, his tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly, for they knew where of he spoke.
But we’ll hear his tales no longer, for ol’ Joe has passed away,
and the worlds a little poorer, for a Veteran died today.
He won’t be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family, going quietly on his way,
And the world won’t note his passing, ‘tho a Veteran died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing, and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran, goes unnoticed, and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution, to the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise, and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow, who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country; And offers up his life?
The politician’s stipend, and the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate, to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary Veteran, who offers up his all,
Is paid off with a medal, and perhaps a pension small.
It is not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom, that our country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out, with his ever-waffling stand?
Or would you want a Veteran, his home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Veteran, who would fight until the end.
He was just a common Veteran, and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us, we may need his likes again.
For when countries are in conflict, we find the Veteran’s part,
Is to clean up all the troubles, that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honour, while he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage, at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline, in the paper that might say:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A VETERAN DIED TODAY.”
LEST WE FORGET
This weekend maybe visit the Rotary Markets in the Courthouse Park on Saturday morning or trek out to Rye Park for their sale of gifts at 4pm.