“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
For the last few years I have been fortunate enough to be working on construction sites in the City of Perth, Western Australia during the November 11 Remembrance Day services. It’s always encouraging to watch a whole site stop and go completely quiet for about 10 minutes – workers, supervisors, guards, machinery, plant – everything halts and men bow their heads in reverance.
This year we walked into the CBD and joined the shoppers, retailers, pedestrians, police, and servicemen who had gathered for what is still thankfully felt as an Australian’s personal duty to stop everything once a year to ponder the fallen in uniform.
In most ceremonies of remembrance there is a reading of an appropriate poem. One traditional recitation on Anzac Day is the Ode.
The Ode comes from For the Fallen, a poem by the English poet and writer Laurence Binyon and was published in London in the Winnowing Fan; Poems of the Great War in 1914. The verse, which became the Returned Services League Ode, was already used in association with commemoration services in Australia as early as 1921.
LEST WE FORGET