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Veterans Day

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So on what is now named "Veterans Day" formerly "Armistice Day" this poem is sort of unique in that it should appeal not only to veterans but to machinists.......

"Lewis Gunners”
They dwell in a medley of pawls and springs,
Of pinions, and lugs, and racks,
Of cylinders, vents, and various things
Which the average rifle lacks.
My word! How they polish, and oil, and clean,
Ad Nauseam every day,

But you’ll always find them alert and keen –
For that is the gunner’s way.
At night-time they dream the most terrible dreams
Of feed-arms and left-handed screws;
Their slumber with grooved-tailed monstrosities teems
Till they’re nigh in a fit of the blues.
Those number two stoppages haunt them by night,
And also far into the day;
Their remarks would, I’m sure, set asbestos alight –
That is also the gunner’s way.

Up on the fire-step they’ll often be found
Peering earnestly over the top,
Taking mental impressions of all that’s around,
Watching planes, and where Fritz’s shells drop.
On the qui vive for gas, ready for the alarm
At all hours of night or of day;
Alert and intelligent, watchful and calm,
As is always the gunner’s way.
They pound Fritz in gaps which are torn in his wire,
When his gangs are out working at night;
They rake all his trenches with enfilade fire
Till he’s thankful to keep out of sight.
They draw all his fire till the bombers get near,
And pepper him from the next bay,
Then it’s “Kamerade, mercy!” and off to the rear –
That’s the Allemand gunner’s way.

There’s a deadly “Five-nine” that’s a fav’rite of Fritz,
There are glistening Taubes overhead;
There’s a gun and its gunners now shattered to bits,
There are several more names ‘mong the dead.
But their duty is done, as was e’er their proud boast,
For the peace of their souls let us pray:
God rest them, brave lads! For they died at their post –
That is ever the gunner’s way.
 
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I had a great uncle killed at Vimmy Ridge, another came home with mustard gas scars and half his arm blown away.

My grandfather signed up for WWII but wasn't accepted medically, he worked with my grandmother at the Wapity aircraft factory in Ottawa.

Just watched this on Netflix, supposed to be a fairly accurate depiction of WWI trench warfare, no wonder my uncle never talked about it.

 
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(amazingly one of the rare non-controversial threads, as a rule)

One regret I've had, my grandfather could have had an honor guard at his burial - i was too young to realize that. He was in france during WW1. My avatar - by him.
 
(amazingly one of the rare non-controversial threads, as a rule)

One regret I've had, my grandfather could have had an honor guard at his burial - i was too young to realize that. He was in france during WW1. My avatar - by him.
Jim;
You ARE his Honor Guard by continuing to always Remember and Honor Him each opportunity you get.
We Must Never Forget 🇺🇸
 
(amazingly one of the rare non-controversial threads, as a rule)

One regret I've had, my grandfather could have had an honor guard at his burial - i was too young to realize that. He was in france during WW1. My avatar - by him.
Suggestion---Contact someone at the local VA, or some veterans group and explain you would like to do some type of memorial. Around here one of the groups supports a wood working hobby shop at a VA care facility so even a few bucks towards supplies is appreciated.
Your grandfather's history would likely be quite interesting to any vets with artistic interests.
 
Great grandfather, grandfather on both sides, grandmothers youngest brother who died in Sicily with the allies, father, 3 uncles and my 2 elder brothers all served. On my partners side grandfather and uncles all served. Of all these including me the only ones who served in a war that was fought to prevent evil were those that fought in the second world war. If I had my way I would make all politicians who send us to war do penance by crawling on their hands and knees to the national memorials from parliament or the equivalent while being flagellated by those who served or family who lost loved ones or have to deal with the terrible mental scars all soldiers who see death and destruction have as a consequence of serving. On days when the politicians and those who never served have parades and wave flags I turn off the radio and television and lock myself in my workshop and remember those I went to school with and served with that died way before their time.
 
One regret I've had, my grandfather could have had an honor guard at his burial - i was too young to realize that. He was in france during WW1. My avatar - by him.

Jim -

As another has said, you are honoring him by remembering him. That is the important part. There's an old saying that you die twice - the second time the last time anyone says your name.

I've had the honor to present flags to next of kin at burials for Army veterans, including the family of a Korean War MIA who came home some 50 years after he was killed in action. That was the toughest one I ever did - where you thank the family for their kin's sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation. All 7 of my brothers in law and I served and at times over the years we've talked about just this subject - often around a camp fire with a beer. The conclusion I came to after thought was just that - the need to remember those who came before us and served; especially those who never made it home. I worked that into a talk I was asked to give on Memorial Day several years ago. My small town, like many, has banners with pictures on them of those who served. And a small memorial for the 3 local guys who died in Nam - I grew up with all of them; graduated with one, played on the same football team with all of them. Every time I go by that memorial I say hello to all of them by name. As well as to my Dad, a WW2 vet, who's picture in flight gear is on a banner as well.

Just don't forget them.
 








 
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