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Winning poets announced Three winners in each of the adult and youth categories of the Honouring Our Veterans poetry contest were announced during a reading session at Haney Place Mall on Remembrance Day. by Roxanne Hooper Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows TIMES A small but attentive crowd gathered at Haney Place Mall on Friday afternoon to listen to poets of all ages, and from all over the Lower Mainland, read their tributes to veterans. The first annual Honouring Our Veterans contest culminated with the readings on Remembrance Day afternoon, and organizer Joe Robinsmith said he was “astounded” by the turnout. “The number of poems received exceeded my wildest imagination… I wanted to thank every poet that entered the contest Honouring Our Veterans,” Robinsmith said. Submissions came from Chilliwack, Surrey, Langley, and – of course – Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. But they also received entries the United Kingdom and Portland, Ore. Applauding all the entries, he noted that the judges had a very difficult time in selecting the winners in both the adult and youth categories. The adult category, in particular, was extremely difficult for the judges, but first place went to Karen Black of Maple Ridge for her poem 11/11/11. Second place was awarded to Kathleen Stubley of Maple Ridge for her poem At the Cenotaph, and third place

Sylver McLaren/TIMES

Marlowe Evans, 11, read her poem Veterans to a small crowd that gathered for the Honour Our Veterans poetry contest reading and awards at Haney Place Mall on the Remembrance Day afternoon. went to Juel Breu of Maple Ridge for Remembrance Day. Honourable mention went to Irene McGowan of Chilliwack for her poem, also entitled Remembrance Day. In the children’s category, of which Robinsmith noted he was not a judge, the first prize went to Eliza CrowMcallum of Maple Ridge for a poem entitled Soldiers. Second place in this category went to Marlowe Evans of Maple Ridge for her poem Veterans, while Robinsmith’s son Colton earned third place for his poem called A Veteran’s Verse. Honourable mention in this category went to Harrison Hauck of Maple Ridge for the poem Remember. While the success of this year’s event had fortified Robinsmith’s conviction to host the Honouring Our Veterans poetry contest again next year, in partnership with The TIMES, he’s also hoping to host another contest next spring. He’s just now trying to determine the theme. In addition to partnering with The TIMES, Robinsmith said local merchants were extremely support of the project, offering up prizes for the winners. He sent out a special thanks to Black Bond Books, Waves Coffee, Purdy’s Chocolate, Town Square Cobbler, and T’s Tea Shoppe. He also turned the spotlight on Helene Levasseur Charron of Holy Wow Poets for being instrumental in the contest’s success and visibility. “ I take my hat off and on bended knee give thanks for your assistance,” he said to all those that helped.

11/11/11 by Karen Black November is a tearful month When grey skies cry. And on Remembrance Day We too may wipe our eyes As under chill damp skies And sober clouds We join the sober crowd. Each year we hear the guns’ salute The skirling of the pipes, the rattle of the drums, Then hear all go still As we stand, still and mute. Remembering, in the chill. He whom I salute did not know me, My name, my face, my identity, He fought and died for me. He’d not foresee Nor bend his mind To the decades as they would unwind To me, who asks the how’s and why’s Of war, Yet honours him ‘neath tearful skies. To fill his mind he had his fears And his soldier skills, be they wanting or bold, And enduring the bloody days, the boring days, And trying to believe that he’d Grow old. So on this tearful, grey day We remember him, and all Who, for reasons grand or small, In conflicts young or old, Far from home did fall.

Remember Me by Alanna Carmichael Remember me for more than one day. I served our Country so you could sit by Hudson’s Bay. I long for the day when mankind can shake each others hand. A day when life itself, is as beautiful as our homeland. I long for that day but sadly it won’t come. As I lost my life and didn’t even say goodbye to my mom. I now lay with many men beside me. Flanders Fields they call it, where white crosses are plenty. Remember me for more then one day. I served our Country so you could sit by Hudson’s Bay.

Two Minutes on the Eleventh by Alan Woodland In the two minutes of silence there is not time to think of the reality of war the single second it takes to fall the black hole that is death Two minutes may seem a long time standing in the wind beneath a thin November sun but those two minutes end the piper plays the trumpet sounds and life resumes with all its pain and pleasure For those who died Their silence is forever

Remember by Anna Wagner The 11th of November We try to remember The veterans in wars long passed And how we can forget so fast? And start new wars all over again? I bang my head against the wall Technology, global economy, progress and all.. And we still never learned how to get along We never learned how to avoid killing each other Life is short, so why do we bother To concentrate on issues of greed When love of life is all we need… In Flanders Fields poppies grow, In many countries tears flow and flow So much energy wasted in vain Planting seeds of hate, causing pain…. November 11TH is to remember but also to concentrate To make sure we don’t repeat the fate Of people killed in order to create, What??? A better world, a safer place? I watch the marching veteran’s tired face And fear the complete extinction of the human race New wars will pave the way For new veterans to march some day… It is time to concentrate to Eliminate Hate And reach an understanding Of some kind of happy ending And educate the young not to glorify war But peace and the joy of existence Aggression, oppression, mass destruction, Should be replaced by the action Of educating the masses Amen.

Silence by Bob Goos It’s in the silence Before dawn Or at night As the clock ticks down the moments Of my life that I miss him And remember Those days that open us to memory Marching proudly down the street Medals shining Uniform sparkling Back straight Even at 78 Marching In that ever dwindling formation Of veterans Each year remembering the one not there Each year remembering those who never Had the chance to march Those who died on distant shores Breaking their mother’s hearts As they became our eternal heroes And after the march, and the drinks And the tears and the remembering We would go home and in the silence He would speak Of silence Broken by the drone of bombers By the scream of death By the sound of gunfire The screech of bombs Inward bound He would speak of silence smashed by the noise of war The shriek of death The cacophony of battle The noise that never left his dreams For all these years. But this year I sit alone in silence Wanting to hear again the stories Wanting to smell again the sweater Wanting to see again the tears well up in his eyes But today there is only silence.

War by Carolann Vestergaard The things I saw and what I did Cannot be talked about yet there re-lived Every day they’re on my mind Rolling through it, picture framed in time Horror that will stop you dead in your tracks as you tread, over bodies of your mates as you surge toward the gates the gates of hell are opened wide Shells exploding at my side what kind of man does this to another? One that you would call your brother? I was in the parade with pride, medals shinning and at my side stood a young man not quite twenty Who saw no war but had empathy How could I tell him what I did? what I saw or how I lived? I’ve been to hell and back I said the drum was beating in my head. The bugle sounded as we marched along memories are still very strong of all my friends who have gone before me paid the price in all their glory The bugle has stopped all is quiet we pause for a minute for the great sacrifice.

Remember by Chantal Gemperle It’s time to remember those who fight every day, All we can do for those soldiers is pray. What is the purpose, why are they there, For the freedom of their country they care. Is this what it takes in this world to be free, It shouldn’t be like this can’t you see. Freedom should be a gift to all, Without any soldiers having to take the fall. Enough lives lost in the wars to date, Can’t we find peace believing in faith. Too long has this been going on, With too many soldiers from home gone too long. For centuries they’ve gone out there and protect our lives, For their parents, their children and their wife’s. It seems so senseless in this day and age, Why can’t we just turn the page. Bring them back to where they need to be, Back home with their family. For those for whom it is to late to save, Thankful we are for you have been so brave. Let’s never forget for what you’ve done, Fight for us all to enjoy our freedom in the sun. Remember you we will today and forever, Forget what you’ve done we will never. Lets stop the madness and bring on peace for all, You who’ve got the power it’s yours to call.

For You by Christine J. Logan To you, who fought and survived the war We honour you with heart and soul You gave it your all to save our land The least we can do, is hold your hand We hold your hand and pray for you Because our Father wants us to Our Father is waiting to share His glory With you and others who share a similar story Your story is heard, our hearts are grateful For all you have done, we love you, we’re thankful.

In Honor of Him by Christine J Logan In honor of Him I pray for you You’ve been through a lot You’ve been far from home Your journey is over But you’re never alone He waits for you To give to you His eternal love and grace You had His holy spirit here But now you live among Him In His presence with no fear With my love And in honor of Him Take my prayers with you And be free from all sin.

A Veterans Verse by Colton Robinsmith I wish I had a full time job so I could complain, I wish I had lots of money to spend on myself, I hope that never happens, Or if it does I don’t remember, On the day we all remember, The pain, The fear, The losses, How we hated, how we loved all the more, How white turned to black and black to blood, The red in all of us was not meant to be spilled, We were not meant to be killed, I fear we forget to remember, but more I fear, I fear we forget to forget, We must forget the hate of the past, The hate of the guns, rifles and bombs, We must forget the battles we lost, Because we must know, The ones we won others have lost We must remember those we lost, We also must remember those we took, ...and those that came back.

To War Veterans by Corinne Sawchuk If only we could live in a perfect world Where there would be no more wars There would be joy, love and peace But since we live in an imperfect world There always are wars With war veterans – some who became disabled Mentally, physically and/or emotionally If only we could live in a perfect world Where there are no more wars With no war veterans – none become disabled Mentally, physically and/or emotionally

All For Our Freedom by Darlene Stott Why did you go to war young man, To fight and suffer and die? “All for our Freedom,” the soldier said “Too bad the price was so high.” Our country is free, but it wouldn’t be, If not for the sacrifice Of the lives of many courageous young men, Who fought to pay the price We honour those men, both living and dead, And remember what the solder said “All for our freedom” the baddled and died. “All for our freedom!” The soldier cried You went to the battle fields far from home. Crawling through trenches lost and alone. Dodging the gunfire, hearing the roar, Of the bombs and the air raids, the sounds of the war. We honour you now, for the job you have done. We’re proud of you now, for the victories won. We give tribute to both the living and dead. And remember what the soldier said. “All For Our Freedom”

We Remember by Doris Riedweg As the morning sun is rising over distant woods and plain, Casting rays on silenced battlefields and hills, There beneath the waving poppies, by a quiet shady lane, You rest with comrades, free from earthly ills. Where you stood just yesterday in your silent hometown street, Planning your future with a sanguine eye, The silence is broken only by the tread of memories feet And the tears that fall where still your loved ones cry. Bravely you went off to war, your life was all you had; The thought of death far from your youthful mind. You marched into an alien world -- a world that had gone mad -For liberty for those you left behind. God grant that your great sacrifice will not have been in vain -A ransom for the country you called home. And grant that we, your loved ones, will hold you once again When we meet in glad reunion at His throne.

No Poppies This Year by Dudley N. Christian I’ll buy no poppies this poppy day Haven’t bought them for many a year I’ll buy no poppies this poppy day And my reason is simply “I care” I care for a man who once went to war Watched as friends suffered and died I care for a man who for years endured While dying in anguish inside I care for a veteran who is long forgot A war casualty like all the rest I care for a spirit broken and beat Which walked tall with all of the best I care for a heart that once did believe In the right for which he once fought I care for a heart now broken in grief Seeing the fight really was all for naught No I’ll buy no poppies this poppy day Haven’t bought them for many a year I’ll buy no poppies this poppy day And my reason is simply “I care” I’ll wear no poppies this poppy day You may call me whatever you will I’ll wear no poppies this poppy day In respect for one suffering still In respect and remembrance of a tall man Who for his country did offer his all Not knowing or seeing as he forward went The realities behind the war call In respect for a man without a name Not a number or mark did they keep Just a finger to place on a trigger to pull To insure their full freedom they’d keep In respect to a man like others he knew Who lived under the colonials heel Men who died unknown, unremembered unmarked For less than human so long was their deal I’ll wear no poppies this poppy day You may call me whatever you will I’ll wear no poppies this poppy day In respect for one suffering still I’ll salute no flagstaff this poppy day No time I of silence shall keep For four hundred years of Silence I’ve known Now no more silent will I let you sleep Awake you who mourn for the wounded and dead Those you in the last wars did lose Pause awhile in your sorrow and think instead Of those you’ve ruined with dope and with booze Think of those who died in the trenches cold Those who often spearheaded the attack Those your Governments failed to in register hold Because like you their skins were all black

Think of the reasons the enemy you fought That a nations Sovereignty be not usurped Then think of the nations under colonials rule Of its peoples anguish, pains and its hurts I’ll salute no flagstaff this poppy day No time I of silence shall keep For four hundred years of Silence I’ve known Now no more silent will I let you sleep I’ll offer no prayers on this poppy day Save one that your throne shall downfall I’ll offer no prayers on this poppy day Nor again ‘til my peoples freed all No prayers from this section will come No feelings of sorrow, pain or regrets No bugle, no trumpet, no taps no drum No recognition from me will you get For living and breathing there is a man Who survived where others have died Who believed “Nothing would be too good” after the war Lived six years believing your lies A tall man who thought when the war was thru And your freedom again secure lay Then you by your promise would free him too Yet still under your yoke does he stay So I’ll buy no poppies this poppy day Haven’t bought them for many a year I’ll buy no poppies this poppy day In respect for my father so dear No poppies for me no flag to salute No prayers and no silence to share No grief for your dead and wounded have I For no recognition to my peoples you gave So look me upon with deep scornful eye When Remembrance Day it draws nigh I too am remembering someone I knew Whom you’ve broken and often let cry I too shall remember the years he did give Thou you failed e’en to mark down his name Like so many others of his race and kin You for his skins shade made him ashamed You promised in lies like you’ve always dealth His freedom for self and for land But once you your freedom saw resecured He again became just a Black man So sell me no poppies this poppy day Ask me not in your prayers to bend head For no tribute I owe to your wounded or lost When I think of my unlisted dead Nay no tribute I owe to your wounded or lost When I think of my father your living dead … All my living dead

Soldiers by Eliza Corw-Mcallum Bombs and grenades heard in the past Memories of war still clear and vast We are gone, gone faraway To Flanders’ Fields where the poppies still sway And now we lie without a doubt We need our family, our friends, our pets To tell them we’ve payed our unforgotten debts We gave them our love, our strength, our lives Though we died at the end from very sharp knives We are past; we are gone We’ve been in a war all along Like a wind in the night We put up a fight When we came, we were just here to say We are the soldiers of remembrance day

From a Foreign Brother by Freda du Plessis You left your homeland and your family to help a stranger save his You carried the burden Of this foreign brother And side by side in a sandy bunker We bled Because you believed That it would make a difference Thank you my brother YOU did!

The Demons of War by Gary John Redmond Lest we forget those brave men of War They fought for our freedom, for valour and more!

For many soldier their story untold Of life now gone to hell,

For those who gave their lives on the battle fields For those crossing the Atlantic & Pacific Seas

Of sickness, depression, nightmares They won’t share their fear, their horror, they won’t tell

Death, destruction, fear and hatred for some For many pain, hunger and loneliness

Lest we forget the memories of those that died there Yet forget not!

Routine of day by day lives for these Brave men, brave women who fought for our freedoms

These survivors of war They soldier on

Lest we forget those that died at War Brave too are these soldiers now

Now living as friends and neighbours Heroes in our community pond

After the carnage of war Like the roots of a dieing tree

Heroes left to battle more The Demons of War

They battle on! With the demons of war To grow again and heal with time Their broken limbs and their lost souls Given proudly for their country For you and for me Day by day they battle the demons of war

What Happened? by Gary John Redmond “What happened during the War”? I inquired bright eyed, knowing little of the past An inquisitive young boy sitting on his father’s knee He was drunk as could be Eyes glazed and brain full of hate Now enraged, loud, angry… “Why do you ask”? Father said I felt a muscle in his leg tense as he shook me for a bit! I held my mouth shut staring at the sweat upon his brow His face went pale for a moment then turned bright red The silence and darkness of his glare made me feel queasy “The War”! His blue greyish eyes pierced my flesh “The War”! His voice echoed tremors down my spine. Frightened, horrified I cried feeling uneasy As the saliva formed round his mouth I confess I wanted nothing of this war that woke the dead He was a bright young man of seventeen He wanted to fight for the Canadian team A gifted Morse Coder put in charge of a whole naval fleet I expected war stories of courage and valour not of defeat

What he replied in his drunken way? “So many ships downed, all drowned into the cold cruel Sea” Suddenly I flew across the kitchen floor As father spoke no more then flung me from his knee My father at 17 served his country Canada during World War Two He lost his battled to the Demons of War, three decades ago It is difficult to forgive his sins as the Demons of War often Win. Rest in Peace, John Allen Redmond

Remember by Harrison Hauck Five thousand people jump up and down Just doing what they have been told For fear of being executed they’ll do it until they’re old The sargent with an iron fist around their bloody necks shouts all of his commands of bigotry and hatred His loud voice booming over the mountains They train and train for the upcoming warp Just to die and the cycle to repeat for many years to come Some will make it, many will leave their lives behind To cross into that Neverland we talk so much about With bombs flying and bullets grazing their broken bodies They’ll fight on to save our lives But no one cares, they worry themselves About petty looks and petty problemso Their lost souls will never be remembered for good We gather annually to remember for two brief minutes Just to go upon our days like nothing has ever changed The only evidence of their pain and suffering Lies within the letters and poems That were written in their own barracks And with that stated I truly hope those men and women who went and died in the war Shall be glorified in our hearts forevermore

In Memory of You by Helene Levasseur Charron I do not know much about you And yet I’m celebrating Heroes It’s Remembrance Day My soul feels you I owe you my life I owe you my freedom I want to be as strong as you Through frightful weather Or unknown territory You moved forth With strength And dignity And honor You shook and trembled But never gave up You feared for your life But your mission was to save me From any wars or conficts to be I know you can read me Whether from up above Or here on earth So I take this opportunity To thank you wholeheartedly For taking me out of any trauma Or any unimaginable tragedy As I live in triumph because of you A million thanks For being my defender Without any promotions Please know that I love you.

November 2012 Remembering Our Vets by Helene Levasseur Charron It’s not just here, there but everywhere on earth That we are celebrating about people with honor T’is Remembrance Day about the living and the dead Those I never met chose to go and secure our freedom Soldiers known and unknown did fight to win Giving us all liberation of all wars and conflicts Risking their lives praying for strength and triumph With fire and passion without being given promotions Bravest of the bravest they went through thick and thin Regardless of unknown territory and frightful weather Sometimes they were in the midst of terror and horror A Million sacrifies made for us all risking many tragedies Every moment was filled with trauma of what’s forthcoming Through every battle fought they thought of always living Thousands moved forth remembering this quest to conquer Over every fear that perhaps they would not be remembered Many times they shook and trembled but at the same time prayed So families and other loved ones would make their service worthy The care and support they have brought us must be returned With thanks and glory for having suffered with so much dignity Freedom and peace the veterans gave unrelentlessly as a gift The experience that they went through is unimaginable for us Let us pray for our nation to be removed from any turmoil And celebrate Remembrance Day honoring our true Heroes.

Words from vets by Helene Levasseur Charron Well you must be surprised We know that we are too Thought we’d ask you a favor We hope it’s not too much Coming from a Heavenly Realm As we observe you

Thank you for keeping them alive In your thoughts and prayers Your constant letters Your emails and calls Your love and compassion For their services

Thought we’d go National To make this news worthy Could you honor us vets By making a Special Day For every young soldier Who is inevitably a heroe

Honor them on Remembrance Day The living and the dead We will celebrate it Near or far A Remembrance of Heroes Serving you.

That’ every one of them Whether dead or alive You have no idea How much they think of home Through every battle fought It’;s a coup done for you

November we remember by Helen Levasseur Honoring our military vets at the ACT Theatre is indeed a sincere moment for us to treasure what a great means of a thankful exposure expressing inner thoughts to remember this is indeed around Remembrance Day The old living and deceased soldiers say we served our country in every way it was our duty to never go astray many devoted ones would start by praying as this re-inforced them never staggering t’was their quest to protect every sibling following the rules always regimenting what an honor to have them recognized by genuine folks so deeply wholehearted having this joy, peace and harmony handed by these vet soldiers to be highly acclaimed oh canada our home and native land was protected by each veteran band may we celebrate this day and understand and bring poppy plants to the flowerstand many thanks indeed for saving us all from any harm or hindrances or pitfall remembering you who hold the bugle-call of hearts, minds and souls who carry all. this is a November we will remember!

Memories by Inez Daly Shouts, screams, pain and hurt Blur my mind. I can not leave My memories dead. Buried underneath Crimson poppies, my comrades Will sleep peacefully. And now, because you And countless others have died Our country is free. Free from all bondage Free from terrorism, and Free from any war. My friends, I will see You on the other side. In Final peace you rest. I will never leave Any memories behind I will remember. I will remember You forever. Memories Of you will live on.

Remembrance Day by Irene McGowan Dear little child, you cannot know About that war so long ago And Flanders Fields where poppies blow. This was a war to end all war, To keep good Freedom at our door, And bring a peace forevermore. But maybe you have learned by chance About the bloody sands of France, When allies made their last advance. These soldiers learned, as those before, That no one really wins a war; They wanted peace forevermore. But Peace seems weak and War seems strong. Man wars today, though right or wrong; The peace we seek takes much too long. “Lest we forget” the first ones said, A cry still echoing from the dead, “Bring to the world a peace instead.” Remember them, as we before; Remembrance Day their pledge restore And make world peace forevermore.

Innocence Lost by Jade Soon He was only nineteen and just starting his life An innocent man with a very young wife. He had hopes and dreams like you and me To raise a loving family of maybe two or three. But the world had other plans for this young lad There were conflicts abroad and everyone was mad. So he joined the army for he needed to show We would not be defeated by enemy or foe. And suddenly he was thrust upon the battlefield Against a mighty enemy who was tough and would not yield. Imagine the horror and bloodshed he faced As each comrade fell dying, their vibrant life erased. I wonder what this brave soldier would have to say If he could see the anger and chaos in the world today. Would he wonder if all his efforts were for nought? All the wars and conflicts courageously fought? Our freedom you know came at a heavy price As Canadian soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice. So don’t squander the life with which you’ve been blessed Or the souls of the fallen will never be at rest.

All We Need Is Love On Earth by Jane Tremain All we need is love on this earth… Gone but not forgotten… For every fallen soldier, Who died in a foreign land, To protect our freedom and liberty, United we shall stand. They always had a good attitude, Their hearts pure and true, They have earned our gratitude, For a hero we see in you. No matter what they still shall fight, For that is what they do, A spark of hope they shall ignite, The dream of peace, they pursue. Today America & British thanks you all, For all that you have done, Together we have stood so tall, One nation, one family, one son.

WMD’s? I’ve only seen three. Two thousand deaths and climbing more, Families torn apart, they don’t want war anymore. When will THEY come home? When will war be done, over and through, When will the bloodshed stop, will we ever live it through? How much more must our country endure? While our soldiers fight for the free, Will we ever be able to pay back the deed? Death is a price that must be paid, Sometimes heavy sometimes light. Soldiers are brave and proud to win the fight. The fight that took the towers down, The war that caused our lives to spin around. Now as our flag is waving high, Soldiers coming off the plane.

Fathers are shipping out While young children pout

We are proud for their fight today. The war is over, all is won

They’re going over there. Fighting a war, our soldiers proud and free

Is peace finally found, are we done? so now all we need is love not WAR

Veterans – A Poem by Jason Humber Lets never forget the love and the passion for our fallen and with their heads held high and the greatness with every step the year goes by. Never forget the strength and mighty with our Vets.. a run for the dove of love an always upward battle that in the end we will never forget them but always Remember.

Stand by Jennifer Low Why do we stand here year after year? To honour those that someone held dear. On a day often bitterly cold and wet, Our chance to thank every soldier and vet. Our men and women who willingly serve, we imagine them ready with a steely nerve. Forgetting how human and scared they must be, leaving behind friends, home and family Fearing not only what lies ahead, but not being home also fills them with dread. Days they will miss weigh heavy on their mind. Who will protect those that they’ve left behind? Reminded the world still needs a hand, In helping those is a far away land. In crisis, disaster, peacekeeping and war, our roll is never ending the world always needs more. Why do we stand here year after year? Some for the spectacle some shed a tear. To think about war, present and past, and hope for the future and a peace that will last.

It Reminded Me of Flanders Fields By Jenny Schweyer It reminded me of Flanders Fields, The river of poppies flowing by, Adorning those who served and fought To defend our peace and security. The bagpipes played and stately they In somber homage kept their time, While those who loved and those who lost Did lay their wreaths the monument by. They went young, but came back old. Wiser, sober, not from age But battle weary did they grow up Many years before their time. Some saw their comrades fall and die And so they march in honour thus. Save for their sacrifice would we Have not freedom without fear. Proudly do I wear my poppy In gratitude of those who march, Whether to remember or to warn That Flanders Fields are everywhere.

Canadian Heroes Never Die by Jimmy T. Tan Praises be… Soldiers that did not die But sped away to a glorious high Imbibed within my heart, the throbbing of your love is nigh Your gift of uncommon valour enthroned upon the sky Your name is sung: “The Strong and Free… True North Forever Be.” Beneath the aura of the maple tree Your pledge fulfilled, your voice echoed: “I stand on guard for thee” “For thee” this flame of promise now I hold From the Rockies to the Plains, From shore to shore behold Your gift of victory our nation now uphold From one selfless fellow, untold crown of glory now unfold. It is because of me that you fell; It is because of you that I walk.

Remember, Remember by Joe Robinsmith At dawn’s first light the first shot rang Across the mud and trenches Followed by the whine overhead Of mortar shells released to fall On soldiers indiscriminate It matters not who lives or dies To gain a few hundred feet of ground Advancing up another hill Or into another foreign town. World War One was a battle slow Fought on horses with guns and bayonets World War Two slogged on four years Mustard gas and bombed out cities Too many fronts to count Russia, Asia and the English Channel In British Columbia they stood on alert For submarines from across the ocean Ending with the dropping of a mighty bomb. Remember, remember, we say each year Remember those that fell and died Remember how they fought so bravely Remember that war to end all wars. Remember, remember we ask our children Remember that your great grandfather died Remember we say as they parade by Remember we ask them as they color poppies Remember, remember November eleventh. The war to end all wars they claimed There would be no more bloodshed Until the Cold War began Not five years after that mighty fight Communist bloc and Western allies Cuban missiles and Korean war. Vietnamese jungles And napalmed villages Where all paid the price with sanity. When will it stop this constant bloodshed And for what we always ask ourselves That time it was for land and money Next time it’s over politics and land This time it’s oil and control of production. When man can live in peace With enough of everything for all Only then can our children not fear That they will have to stand and fight again. Remember, remember, we say each year Remember those that fell and died Remember how they fought so bravely Remember that war to end all wars. Remember, remember we ask our children Remember that your great grandfather died Remember we say as they parade by Remember we ask them as they color poppies

Remember, remember November eleventh. It is harder each and every year There are fewer and fewer left behind. Gone on to heaven to join their mates Those who died and lay in Flanders Fields They sell the poppies and stand on guard But to their children’s children’s child It all sounds like stories old and worn Too much news of soldiers still dying Overseas attempting to bring peace. Peacekeepers now in bright blue Driving in desert sand aboard humvees Guns poised and ready to shoot At children wearing vests of shrapnel A simple soccer ball turned deadly Because no one wants us to interfere Democracy is just a word An ideal that means so little both there and here. We stand on guard for thee they say Who stands on guard for them I ask Who will bring these soldiers home again Who will remember them in times to come There are no parades for returning heroes Who will cheer and hug them tight Other than their little ones and wives I cannot watch the tv reports Another soldier has died, but why Who will remember, remember them – Since Joe was the organizer of this poetry contest, none of his poems were entered into the competition, but he wanted to offer this up for the readers

Honouring Our Veterans by Joe Robinsmith The years weigh heavily upon him Time slowly crushing his memories On this day which comes every year He finds an inner strength to stand tall Remembering how his comrades fell There was little glory, lots of blood The movies they make cannot reveal The mud, the stench, the screams and tears No actor can properly portray The hellfire that rained upon them He’ll stand tall and salute lost friends Those who died overseas and at home The ones who lost a limb or perhaps They lost so much more, their minds were torn And if you see a tear roll down his cheek It’s not weakness or even sadness Simply the knowledge that someday soon He will rejoin them in that grand march Across the heavens where glory reigns And accept God’s forgiveness once there For fighting a war for freedom all Generations now still benefit But do they remember, remember The eleventh of November A day to honour those who served Overseas and at home they’ll stand Give thanks to those who protect our right To democracy and free speech. We stand and salute you warriors brave Your war is over, we will not forget

Remembrance Day by Juel Breu I remember a man Larger than life, Who held me on his knee And told me stories. A hard working farmer With calloused, gentle hands A handsome man in uniform I thought was indestructible. I remember I cried when he had to leave “to fight for my country”, He used to say. I remember standing On the station platform On a cold October day Watching the train pull away. It was the last time I felt his strong arms Lift me high. The last time I heard his voice When he said “Good-bye”. So when the trumpet Pierces the silence, With “The Last Post” echoing, sad I remember these things very clearly I was nine years old. He was my Dad.

At the Cenotaph by Kathleen Stubley I never knew your nickname, I never called you friend In fact, I wasn’t even born When your life came to an end... And yet on each Remembrance Day As one of a sombre crowd, I stand beside the cenotaph As the names are read aloud... And I think of the youthful faces; Of the boys in soldier clothes... Saying ‘goodbye’ to Haney town Off to adventure, I might suppose... Each eager marcher soon to learn The sorry truth of war... The noise, the fear, the days and nights Being hungry, tired, sore.... Did you despair and cry aloud to Heaven, on your knees? Did the thoughts of home and loved ones there Bring you any ease? And when death came was a buddy near? Or did you face that trial alone? I cannot tell, I only know Your name is carved in stone. Because you served, because you died My life is pleasant here My sons and daughters, and grandkids now, Can grow up without fear... So I will come with grateful heart Each 11th of November And when your name is read, my unknown friend, I’ll weep...and I’ll remember.

For I am 21 Oil on the water Ice on my ship Zig-Zag Zig-Zag Chip Chip Chip

Moon-lit night Beam of light Black smoke around Get out! Get out! My pilot shouts. Plunge into darkness Parachute above

Caught in the open Face down in a field RRIP of machine gun Shrapnel on stone The cries of my wounded.

Will I survive? Will I survive? Yes, for I am 21

Will I survive? Will I survive? Yes, for I am 21

Will I survive? Will I survive? Yes, for I am 21

by Keith Wood

Home on the Range by Linda Mills Though seldom home still my feet can guide Where even unseen I would know the path So many times I came this way to hide The stones, the moss, the rabbit’s run This last chalk hill stepped cathedral wide Against my hair the mist warmed by the sun Now hear a burst of pain from low altitude bombs Where patchwork craters blow smoke into the wind To fill with next week’s rain becoming moorland ponds Jet wash ripples wild flowers as they pass Bright shrouds for rusting frames and other victims Once a flock of dead birds in the grass Helicopters crisscross like frantic toads leaping From place to place with their base tones Shredding memories to leave me weeping

the Enemy Within by Linda Mills A man died again last night And every night for years before Always afraid of his never ending war A man died again last night On a city street, his jungle dark and dim Where all the angry ghosts still followed him A man died again last night Struggling with his desperations Still bleeding for his careless nation A man died again last night At the hands of his brothers in blue Now his pain has become their pain too

Sacrifices by Linda Mills Standing On the hillside Waiting for the last taps So many stones remembering The dead Parents And siblings lie In soil they would defend Others lived to love while these gave Their all We will not weep for them But treasure what they gave And pray for those who still stand at Their backs God give Us strength to hold What others paid to keep Our freedom is the voice that must Be heard

Veterans poem by Lisa Sullivan I take a moment to reflect, on how I start my days. I greet the day with an awful scowl at the sight of the wind and rain. I take a moment to reflect, as I sit here and complain that brave men and women fought for me, to stand safe here in the rain. I take a moment to reflect, my life today; my every breath, has been a gift of sacrafice, from every soldier who fought our fight. I take a moment to reflect, as I kiss my kids goodnight, theres’ a soldier up in heavan, who wished they had that chance tonight. I take a moment to reflect, as Autumn comes to call, each beautiful bright red maple leaf, in memory of each soldier, falls.

Remember All Year Round by Lorre Gibson Go to the fields of Flanders To where the scarlet poppies blow Between the snow white crosses, Row on row on row. The winds that kiss the poppies Hold the long-lived ghosts Of those who spilled their blood On this bleak and lonely coast. Go to the sands of Iwo Jima. Stand silent where the flag Was raised by men right valiant, Then slowly worn to rags. Think about the bravery, The calls for Mom or wife That many a dying warrior gave Before surrendering life. In November, we remember All the heroes who have died, But do we take time to remember The heroes still on this side? Remember with humble gratitude The ones who cannot forget. Every comrade lost to war Haunted them in memory yet. Give them the honour they so well deserve. It’s a very small gift to give To those who were willing to pay the price So that we, in freedom, might live.

Standing erect by Marilyn Christian Standing erect in pressed uniform Against November’s wind and cold, With vivid poppy pinned on their chest, With stories kept secret, or told... Remembering buddies, so long gone, Looking beyond, with haunted stare To distant lands, where too many fell. How many at home really care? Every year they stand wondering, With each new generation, more... How many really do comprehend The price of war, the lives it tore?

Remember by Marlowe Evans Freedom is the ability to move without fear, to go through with your dreams and to live in a safe place under the roof of your own home. These are things that the veterans of Canada have given us- sacrificed. People should think of this gift more than just in November -a splash of red on a left lapel and the rattle of a coin in the bottom of a can Scant phrases of FlandersVeterans are the people who made it possible to live in peace and harmony. Remember‌.

Whom Are We Remembering? by Mary W. Ng When we gather Each Remembrance Day, Whom are we remembering? Young boys who enlisted and died. Their lives cut short, Their dreams destroyed. Intrepid soldiers killed in distant battlefields. Their bodies buried in foreign soil, Their valiant deeds forgotten. Wounded soldiers in hospital beds. Their limbs broken. Their world shattered. Prisoners of war held captive in prison camps. Many of whom perished, Many brutally tortured.

For those veterans fortunate enough to return home, Their lives would never be the same. They are forever scarred by the horrors of war. To all these brave men and women Who gave their lives to give us liberty, We owe them a huge debt of gratitude. Let us not forget, however, That war is not the solution to a conflict; Love is. Despite our outward differences, We are all the same inside. We crave love, peace, and a sense of belonging. Let us make a pledge on this Remembrance Day: To be merciful to each other. When mercy is our guiding principle, War will be no more.

Rememberance by Sharon Noel The water runs red with the blood of the dead and the screams of the living fill the air. These memories and more, of the horrors of war blacken the souls of those who fought there. Many families will suffer and life will become rougher in countries all over the Earth. Some people ask “Why?” They get no answer and sigh: “This war makes no sense and has no worth.” But remember they do and, yes, so should you each year on the day set aside. Eleventh of November is the day to remember, and bring life back to those who have died.

Remembrance Day by Trudy Davies Remembrance Day, established a long time ago To honour the fallen, to let new generations know The sacrifices made, and so many lives paid. Our freedom won in wars under the sun and dark night raid. Again and again people have offered their lives to protect and ensure others survive. As we remember actions of the dead and the brave, Practice diligence for peace of the world to save. Too many lives are lost. Evil demands too high a cost. Absence of love allows evil to grow So let us make sure love will flow. Respect ones who have gone before. Care for each other, seek justice for more. Remember past lives given, by living for peace And walk with compassion ‘til wars finally cease.

Sylver McLaren/TIMES

A few dozen people gathered at Haney Place Mall on Friday, Nov. 11, following the local Remembrance Day ceremonies, to hear local poets read their poems. This was the first of what organizer Joe Robinsmith hopes will become an annual Honouring Our Veterans poetry contest.

Special thanks to all the sponsors and all the participants,

and especially to organizer Joe Robinsmith and

Remebrance Day poems Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows  

Remembrance Day poems Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows

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