Remembrance Day Poems
Poems sent in by our readers
By Helen Gardner
In Flanders field the poppies grow,
For the reason we all should know.
Standing proud and tall as can be,
Its glory and beauty we all can see.
Remembering the men who saved us all,
Their bravery and honour we all may recall.
A symbol of courage we shall never forget,
For the men who died in the war they met.
They gave up their lives to save the rest,
Although they died, they did their best.
To the bravest of all man and your respected ranks,
We look up to you always and give you thanks.
They fell by the thousands, ‘til the rivers ran red,
With the blood of the wounded, the blood of the dead.
No matter what colour or hue of their skin,
The blood’s the same colour, outside or within.
They were boys that left home, patriotics held high.
T’was their shield and their talisman and for it they’d die.
No matter what side the soldiers fought for,
They killed, eye-for-eye, ‘til they couldn’t keep score.
The boys fought for apple pie, King and country.
The boys fought for the right to always live free:
But boys shouldn’t die, they should live to be men-
From our lips to God’s ears, to world peace, please.
© Margot Leolyn Hedden November 11th 2011
The eyes are all the same today,
Actually it’s the stare within.
The stare tells their sad, glorious tale,
Of just where they’ve all been.
It’s not a physical, worldly place,
That marks these men as brothers.
‘Tis a place in each and every mind,
That links them with each other.
Dark nights, cold days or searing heat,
Thick jungle or windswept beach-
Geography doesn’t bind these men:
‘Tis what they did beseech:
“Dear God; I’m scared and tired and sick.”
“Dear God; I’m hot…I am cold…”
“Dear God; I don’t want to kill no more,
Nor be here ‘til I am old.”
“Dear God; I’m so tired of losing,
And I’m tired of burying friends.”
“Dear God; Please bring these hellish war
To a quick and merciful end.”
It’s in their eyes, the cost of war;
Their eyes, their aged eyes,
They speak of fear and pain and death.
They speak of sad good-byes.
One minute friends are by their side,
The next they’re gone for good.
But you fight on. You must:
Consumed by guilt-the could, the should.
“It could be me, now lying dead,
Not him. This isn’t fair.
I should be with him, he’s my friend,
He’ll think I didn’t care.”
Those eyes. They saw men at their worst,
And at their best, as well.
Those eyes saw men risk life and limb,
In places worse then hell.
Those crinkled faces, years ago,
Were boyish, young and strong.
Now on this day, though resolute,
The boyish look, long gone.
November 11th, Remembrance Day:
Look at their eyes and see;
The boys that were-the men they are.
The fought so we’d be free.
But that’s the one thing they all lost,
War took their freedom away.
Though they came home, a part of them
Caught in the war, did stay.
One day a year they come as one.
Soldiers standing side-by-side.
To remember a past they can’t forget.
To remember those who died.
Do not begrudge two minutes,
For they’ve given all their lives.
And those who died? They’re legacy?
Their daughters, sons and wives.
They’re bent with age and hard memories,
You think-old folks in disguise.
Not disguise-Soldiers-one and all.
Look close: It’s in their eyes.
© Margot Leolyn Hedden November 11th 2011
Why do you leave me here alone?
I am your brother-not a stone.
Do not step away from me.
Are you blind? Can’t you see?
I am hurt, yet you prepare to leave.
Why is it that you stand and grieve?
Come back and help me: you’re my friend.
We swore allegiance to the end.
It’s growing dark and dim and cold.
Come back; I want a hand to hold.
Yet you march on, not looking back-
Onward, forward, you attack.
Why are you all walking away?
I beg at least one of you stay.
The light’s all but gone from the sky.
It must be evening drawing nigh.
And yet a beam of pure white light
Seems to be coming through the night.
And through it other soldiers walk-
Though smiling they do not talk.
I’m scared to take their outstretched hand,
Yet, when I do, seems I can stand.
So I’ll walk awhile with these strange me,
‘Til I’m with my buddies once again.
© Margot Leolyn Hedden November 11th 2011
Have We Forgotten?
We are supposed to remember all those that are gone,
Those that fought for their lives, and ours, was that wrong?
The young men that left, some had never even been kissed,
Some of them came from good homes, others, not even missed.
In the darkness of night, they marched together, side by side,
With only the moon and stars above them, as their guide,
All around them, the sounds of guns and many tanks,
Slowly moving along rocky shores, and slippery muddy banks.
Against the morning light hundreds of silhouettes can be seen,
They don’t have faces, only darkness, a sea of black and olive green,
Miles and miles of emptiness, loneliness, that lay deep in their soul,
Not knowing what is on the other side of each and every knoll.
Where are they going, do they even know, and what will they find?
What happened to looking out for our fellow man? All of mankind,
Side by side in the trenches, some strangers, some family, just trying to survive,
Cold and wet, frostbitten fingers and toes, death looks better than being here alive.
Crawling across dead mangled bodies, that were once soldiers with a name,
Now they are just part of the landscape, they can no longer ask, who is to blame?
What happened to my Grandpa, to my Brothers, my Uncle, and my Dad?
Questions asked by all of us, we have pictures, that’s all we’ve ever had.
Did they fight and die for our country, were their deaths worth it in the end ?
Don’t let them be forgotten, wear a poppy, for our lives, they did defend.
© Barb Hedden Gormley November 11th 2013
In Gratitude of Silence
By: Debbie Holick
Silent now the soldiers sleep, their tales long laid to rest.
I knew them not yet still I weep and place a poppy o'er my breast.
They were husbands, brothers, fathers, sons; so valiantly they fought.
On shores stained red,on hands and knees; it was our freedom that they sought.
Couageously they stood their ground but freedom carries a cost.
Thousands of men were wounded and countless lives were lost.
So in gratitude of silence and all those who have served,
sleep now, you have earned it. Your peace is well deserved.
Where Did All The Poppies Go
By: John Rigby
Where did all the poppies go?
Once worn by people, row on row.
No longer seen upon the chest,
In Remembrance of those now at rest.
This symbol of a Nation’s pride
For those that fought and lost their lives
Withers now from year to year,
Not watered by a single tear.
For the Freedoms we protect and love.
Were won by those that shed their blood.
So spare a thought and say a Prayer Wear a Poppy.
Show you care.
In The Poppy’s Eye
By: Erika Ehrenberg
My daughter wrote the poem for last year's November 11, 2012 school assembly at C.H. Bray School in Ancaster, Ontario when she was 10 years old and in grade 5. In addition she put the poem to music and an animoto video.
In the poppy’s eye, down by the shore, It watched a soldier fight in war.
It thought to itself; why would you do it, Then it realized there was more to it.
The people fought for freedom and peace, Not for death, at one person apiece.
These people fought for their country alot, Even though some would get caught.
But even freedom comes at a price, This war would mean sacrifice.
Many loved ones were sent to the graves The poppy noticed that, very dismayed.
But that is why we are here today, To honour the people who went this way.
A moment of silence is what we do, For all those who fought through this too.
And if you wonder what happened to that poppy, Look on your shirt, you have a copy!
The Little Red Flower
By: Art MacPherson
This little poem came to be when I observed a little child at an Armistice Day Ceremony . He was in the company of an elderly gentleman, perhaps a relative . In any event, a question posed by the youngster , whom I estimated was about six years old , prompted me to put this piece together . I dedicate it to those who still live on , and those who paid the ultimate price
It was a cool and cloudy day, like many we had seen before,
The people young and old came out to honor those who went to war.
And Veterans, fewer now this year, still braved the cold to reappear
As they had done year after year, trying to fight off a bitter tear.
the epitaph of stone, it seemed each veteran stood alone
With memories deeply stamped within, recalling how it all had been.
The crowd assembled on that day was proud of those who gave their all
Those who made it back alive, and those whose fate it was to fall.
Then I saw a little lad, who held the hand
of a gray-haired gent,
The youngster seemed oh so proud, of the older man, now tired and bent.
And then I heard the child implore "what's that small red flower for"?
He paused a bit and then replied, "To grow, for those who fought and died."
When I was just a lad you
know, we had to leave our homes and go
To distant places ' cross the sea, to fight a fight for Liberty.
I know that's hard for you to see, that some should die for you to be
Standing here in a peaceful land, happy, healthy… hold my hand.
The little flowers on our chests are just to say a simple thanks
To those young folks who gave their all, amid the bombs and guns and tanks.
So my dear child please come each year, and wet the flower with a tear
To keep it growing , though we be gone, our sacrifice may still live on
By: Lucas Rodriguez - Astral Drive Junior High
I remember the people who battled,
The bombings, shootings and deaths.
The terror running through my mind.
I lose many friends.
I must keep battling!
I remember the Canines,
Biting and attacking the enemies,
Risking their lives to save ours!
I'm heart broken when they are killed.
I will never forget what the canines did for us.
A man's best friend is gone!
I remember the young teens going to war,
16 and 17 year olds risking their lives for their country,
Being strong and taking hits like a soldier does.
Feeling very sad for them when they die.
I can't believe that it was the last time they saw their family!
I remember the bomb attacks.
The terror on everyone's face,
Seeing my two and four legged friends, the soldiers, die.
How horrifying it was for us.
I must keep battling for my country and friends.
I remember battling in all different kinds of climates,
The blazing hot sun,
The freezing cold winter,
The Down Pours and lying in the trenches.
This is war and this is how it was!!! May they RIP.
When November comes
By Anil Anthony Pinto
"I wrote this poem to honour the men and women who have fought and died for what they believed in. They should never be forgotten. "
Here I lie in this field of poppies.
And here I'll die for the land I love.
So say a prayer and sing the anthem.
And don't forget me when November comes.
It don't matter where you come from.
And it don't matter what God you trust.
It's my life and I choose to gift it.
So don't forget me when November comes.
I won't ask the why or wherefore.
And I won't say what have you done.
For I am dying for what I believe in.
Just don't forget me when November comes.
Say goodbye to that big old city.
And say goodbye to the ones I love.
Take their hand and whisper softly.
That I'll be here when November comes.
The first verse is to all Canadians
The second verse is to the multicultural society of Canada
The third verse is to the Canadian politician.
The last verse if for the soldier's family.
By Anil Anthony Pinto
When all is said and done
And my race here is run
Who will I say I am?
A rich man? A brilliant man?
I'm not sure..but this I know.
When they massacred each other in Rawanda and my General wept
I wept with him
For I am compassionate
When the earth shook in Nepal and the storms ravaged the Philippines
I took the coat of my back and sent it there
For I am giving
While the world dithered on aid to Africa
I quietly sent my paycheck to the Salvation Army
For I am generous
When tyrants and dictators across the sea crushed the human spirit
I picked up arms and restored the spirit of man
For I am righteous.
When immigrants came to my borders hungry, tired and ravaged by war
I welcomed them with open arms
For I am kind.
No one knows of theses deeds I have done
I have told no one
For I am modest
So when I cross that great river to the other side
The gatekeeper will say to me
I know you my friend. Come on in.
And as I pass through those gates and look back one last time
One thing I will know for sure..
The hounds of hell will not be nipping at my heels through all eternity
For...I AM CANADIAN
In life one man can seldom see
His impact in society
Our soldiers fight to blinded eyes
To allow us all to live our lives
Taking up arms against a foe
To save us from the pain they know
To give us all out liberty
They bear the brunt of misery
No greater duty can one bear
An act of courage few would dare
Endless sacrifices for 4 years
Keeping back our greatest fears
November 11th is a day of love
To remember those now up above
Men and women far too great
To be remembered upon one date
No words bring justice to their fight
But i will try with all my might
To bring them honour for the days
They fought to alay such evil ways
No act of love could be so grand
As one brave soldier's final stand
So now I will say at last
We must remember what has past
Those who have died and those who live
And all the thanks to them we give
They are all those who meet the call
Preserving good for one and all
So on this day I ask you pray
For heroes of our memory
Thank for your sacrifice
It was this act that gave us life.
In honour of those who saved the world.