Friday, 4 November 2011

War's Legacy

In Memory - Europe’s Silent Legacy

Carefree tourists, singing gaily
Age old melodies, simple words
The unfolding panorama of ageless Europe - France
Rushing past our tour bus
As we speed along the highway.
Wide open fields of grain
Thick, lush, seemingly endless
An emerald sea, undulating
Heaving, breathing, sighing
With each gust of the shifting breeze.

Suddenly, the singing voices hush
A gasp, an exclamation!
All eyes turn.
In the midst of the silent growing grain
A massive graveyard!
Erect, neatly defined rows, the white crosses
Command our attention.
In stark contrast to the harmony we felt
Just minutes ago
An eerie chill clambers up our spine
And grim reality battles disbelief.

Yet the crosses stand
A silent memorial
To brave young men
Strangers in a foreign land
Who went to war
Never to return home again!
Only silent graveyards remain
Desolate, lonely, unadorned
Amidst a sea of emerald grain
Just a simple melancholy reminder
Of countless lives laid low
Outsiders in a land not their own
Who gave their lives
That a stranger might live
Might sing.  Might laugh.
Might plant these fields of grain
That wave so freely in the wind.

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