They spilled their blood,
Struggling to do the same to their enemies,
Fighting for what we represent,
And we to rejoice,
Or to reflect?
The chains broken,
The oppression over,
Leaving devastation alongside development,
And we to condemn,
Or to commend?
To condemn would be a waste,
To commend would be disgrace,
Choice is forsaken,
To guard our own freedom.
The flag flies majestically,
While the men march steadily,
Parading honour and pride,
And we to celebrate a triumphant euphoria,
Or to mourn a tearful eulogy?
Our anthem resounding,
Our spirits swelling,
Our past a reminder,
Our future a dream,
As everything comes together on this fateful day,
When blood of the past is commemorated,
And blood of the future is celebrated.
I wrote this poem in 2010, as a tribute to the fallen heroes of war, men who fought and died for reasons a few other men couldn’t agree upon.
On Christmas eve, I awoke to this mystifying scene through my window. It is the La Doua National Military Cemetery in Villeurbanne, France, the final resting place of more than 6000 Allied soldiers during both world wars. I minimally fine-tuned the contrast and colour vibrance of the photo.
“Only the dead have seen the end of the war.”
– George Santayana