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Normandy Veterans at the Airport

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They are old now, almost beyond age;

Pushed around, pinned into wheelchairs.

Though chaperoned, they seem unclaimed.

They hold up placards, give a wave

And do their best to summon up a grin,

Before we spirit them toward the beaches

Where, nearly eighty years ago,

They put their young lives on the line

To keep the locals and unborn safe.

We should salute and honour them,

These victims of unswerving law:

Time will come to claim us all.

All courage first retreats to memory,

Whose taut rhythms will tighten

Until they break, or drift, silent, into fog.

All that remains is remembrance,

Our warning from history.


◄ Playtime

Cold Soup ►


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Stephen Gospage

Wed 7th Jun 2023 08:25

My thanks to Graham and John B. Yes, these were truly brave people.
And thanks to Hugh for liking.

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John Botterill

Tue 6th Jun 2023 16:35

A magnificent tribute, Stephen. Thanks for keeping these fires burning. 💪

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Graham Sherwood

Tue 6th Jun 2023 06:33

I’ve met some of these old warriors when visiting France in the past. I reckon if the call came they’d still storm the beaches again! True heroes! A title too easily banded about these days. You poke our remembrance again Stephen.

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Stephen Gospage

Tue 6th Jun 2023 05:43

Thank you for these generous comments John, Keith, Greg, Uilleam and Kevin.
I was deeply moved by the sight of these wheelchair-bound centenarians preparing to leave Atlanta airport, but it is also chilling to realise that even the bravest of us will eventually be conquered and brought down by time, which is why remembrance is so important.

And thatnks to Manish and Stephen for liking.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Mon 5th Jun 2023 09:26

Thank you Stephen, for speaking up for those who are unable-or unwilling-to do so.
Anger and Sadness in equal measure are what I feel on observing scenes such as this.
"If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied".

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Greg Freeman

Mon 5th Jun 2023 09:07

A fine poem, Stephen. Thank you.

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keith jeffries

Mon 5th Jun 2023 08:57

Thank you for this reminder of those who are still alive who fought a bitter conflict to earn the freedom we enjoy today. Also of blessed memory of those who paid the highest price and did not return. A poem which speaks not only of days past but to new generations who live free lives thanks to these valiant men.
Thank you for this,

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John Coopey

Mon 5th Jun 2023 08:34

When I was little it was a parade of the young men and the old men. Then there were no old men. Then there were no young men, only old men.
Now the Falklands veterans are the old men and the Iraq and Afghanistan verse the young ones.
The beat goes on.

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