Sunday, November 14, 2010

Veterans Day

Last Thursday was Veterans Day here in the US of A and with so many seniors in the park, it was a time for even more flag flying and thinking of those who have served and are serving their country.

Now before you tell me off for missing the apostrophe back there, it's not my fault. The US Government has declared that the attributive rather than the possessive case is the official spelling and who am I to argue.

Suitably impressed with my intimate knowledge of US government spelling directives and just before sunset, I set off walking to the pier by the lake as I love the light at that time of day. On my way, I passed a house that had its sprinkler going and I liked the view looking through the spray towards a distant house flying the Stars & Stripes.

It looked much better to my eyes than in this photo but you get the idea.

Then it was off to the pier and although I've taken many photos of it at sunset, I never tire of taking more and being in a reflective mood at the time, it seemed that its stark beauty at the edge of the tranquil waters was even more poignant that evening.

Some nearby palm tree fronds were catching the intense light from the setting sun and although not particularly photogenic by day, they had come alive with a vibrancy that belied their general purpose.

I then took this view over the lake with the sun nestling all too briefly on the horizon, just before it dipped down and was swallowed by the enveloping waters.

There was just time to go out along the pier and take this shot looking back at one of the swing benches and the couple who, sitting together beside the gently fluttering American flag, seemed to sum things up nicely.

The most famous work of the English poet, Laurence Binyon, is "For The Fallen" and I quote it here. It may have been written to remember the British who died in WW1 but its last and most quoted stanza is for all nations who remember their dead........

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

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.


Daphne said...

I love that light at sunset and was delighted to see lots of sunset-light, as in your lovely photos, 4,000 miles away from Florida, in Cumbria today.
As for the poem - I don't rate the first three verses much and they're not often quoted so it was very interesting to read them again - but that last stanza is wonderful and is a fitting tribute to the dead young men and women of any war.

rhymeswithplague said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhymeswithplague said...

Your recent transatlantic crossing did wonders for your blogging genes. Five posts in less than a week!

Must be the warmth of that Florida sunshine....

(The verification word is bidne. Not that it's any of my bidne.

Jay said...

A lovely, reflective post, Silverback. I liked your sprinkler photo, and I can confirm from my own experience that these things often look far better in life than on 'film'.

Thanks for the poem. I'm not sure I've ever read the whole thing before.

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