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OKANAGAN VALLEY WAR MEMORIALS

"SILENT SENTINELS OF THE OKANAGAN"

They are the silent ones amongst us whose existence passes barely noticed except for a season of colour in November. Then they are clothed in green laurels and little red artificial flowers, symbols of real flowers in fields a long way off from the peaceful valley of the sentinels. The sentinels stand and serve through the seasons and years, some benefit from friends amongst them who care, others suffer the indignities of time, all stand in witness that is mute to the ear but sounds clearly in the sympathetic heart. Their durable skins bear the names of beings far less durable than themselves whose memorial is their sole duty. These are some images of these sentinels amongst us, who speak to us… when we listen, in a voice tinged with melancholy and pride.

“In Flanders Fields”
by Lieut-Col. John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

NAVAL HYMN
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Who's arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.
O Christ, whose voice the waters heard,
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amid the storm didst sleep:
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.
O Holy Spirit, who didst brood
Upon the waters dark and rude,
And bid their angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace:
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.
O Trinity of love and power,
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go:
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land to sea.




"High Flight"
By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

We will remember them

 

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