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OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, A SOLDIER DIED TODAY


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Fat
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« on: April 26, 2010, 02:15:40 am »

A Poem Worth Reading
This arrived in my inbox from a friend a few minutes ago



He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the RSL,
Telling stories of the 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 neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his mates listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Soldier 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 Soldier 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 Soldier
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 Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.
It's so easy to forget them,
For it is so many times
That our Bobs and Jims and Johnnys,
Went to battle, but we know,

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 Soldier--
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
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 SOLDIER DIED TODAY."
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Pim
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 02:34:36 am »

Fat, you know what's really sad? I'd look at those geriatric doddering old diggers, WW1 veterans, back in the days when there still were doddering old WW1 veterans (no disrespect intended here btw). When did the last one die? Only a few years ago I think. But certainly back in the 1990s and 1980s there were still a few around. I lived in Canberra and you'd see them at the War Memorial for the Anzac service. They'd be there, looking at least 90 in the shade, dressed in their suits but wearing their medals and their slouch hats and sitting in their wheelchairs. What struck me was that here were these frail old men in the 1990s who'd been involved in events of 80 years previously, in their youth, and these events defined the next 80 years of their lives. The older they got and the longer they lived, the more they became public property and the more those events of their distant youth, the best part of a century in the past, defined who they were.

They were casualties of that war right up until the end.

I sometimes wonder that if we could hear their ghosts, what you'd hear would be something like: "Oh bloody hell, not another flamin' Anzac Day! For gorsakes give us some flamin' peace!"

Maybe the time is coming that "ne obliviscaris" should be changed to "requiescant in pace".
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With all the paraphernalia / Of Tony Abbott's Australia / Where boofheads run rampant / In Tony's Abbott's government, / This we know for certain / We'll hear it all the time: / If bigotry is cool / Then knighthoods are sublime ...
Fat
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 05:16:07 am »

I do not think we should ever forget the cost of war.
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 11:22:49 am »

If we didn't forget it we'd never get new kiddies to sign up Fat.  War needs to be glorious, patriotic, a fight for our freedom, democracy and our way of life.

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He won the lottery, when he was born
A big hand slapped a white male miracle
Trained like dogs, colour and smell
Walks by me to get to him
Policeman, Policeman

Do no wrong, so clean cut
Dirty his hands it comes right off
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 11:53:37 am »

When I was lad in cadets playing a snare drum in a band on ANZAC day in the Sydney march, some of us after the march went to a pub in Woolloomoloo, albeit well under age, and the Tom Uren came to our table being the only cadets there, and he said after customary greetings... "lads, forget the glory and don't ever forget what those bastards had done to good men"...didn't know who he was at the time but in his presence we all knew and agreed he was a honourable and distinguished gentleman of some notabilty, judging by the way other patrons/ex-servicemen greeted him.   
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Fat
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 01:26:34 pm »

I found this peom some 30 years ago but it still moves me deeply

Lost in France

He had the ploughman's strength
in the grasp of his hand;
he could see a crow
three miles away,
and the trout beneath the stone.
He could hear the green oats growing,
and the south-west wind making rain.
He could hear the wheel upon the hill
when it left the level road.
He could make a gate, and dig a pit,
and plough as straight as stone can fall.
And he is dead.

Ernest Rhys
1859-1946
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Bender
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 02:06:20 pm »

Why didn't he stick to doing all those things which it appears he was extremely talented at instead of haring off overseas to become a part of the landscape?

We can always use more gates and pits here.....
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He won the lottery, when he was born
A big hand slapped a white male miracle
Trained like dogs, colour and smell
Walks by me to get to him
Policeman, Policeman

Do no wrong, so clean cut
Dirty his hands it comes right off
Policeman, Policeman

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