As he walked up to the rostrum,
silence round him fell;
and whilst he gazed upon the steadfast ranks,
emotive lines began to tell.
Too many lives were lost before today:
young men and women – yesterday’s youth.
They were the cheques we drew to pay
for the blinded search for fallacious truth.
You are the inspired; the fortunate few
who have lived through to this day:
the ones who now must tell the world
to find a better way.
It is the charge of those who live
beyond vanquished dreams of many men,
to find the strength to forgive;
to learn and love as best you can.
And in so doing, let us ensure
a sense of remembrance, not of rage;
may this quietude beyond the war
turn pugnacious soldier into reflective sage.
Thus, he stood upon the rostrum as
the silence round him fell,
and gazed upon the steadfast ranks
of those returned from hell.
© Copyright Robert M Jaggs-Fowler 2008