Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day 2008

During the Battle of Britain, many Americans crossed the border into Canada to enlist with the Royal Canadian Air Force. In other words, they knowingly broke the law in order to fight Hitler's Nazi Germany. John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was 18 years old he entered flight training in 1941 and was sent to England. He flew the Spitfire fighter during the time German bombers crossed the English Channel frequently to attack Britain's cities and factories. On September 3, 1941, Magee flew a Spitfire V test flight which inspired him to write his now famous poem, High Flight. Three months later, on December 11, 1941 (three days after the US entered the war and four days after Pearl Harbor), John Gillespie Magee, Jr., was killed in action. He was 19 years old.

High Flight
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.

Eulogy for a Veteran
Author Unknown
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

Being a Veteran myself and a proud American Legion member, I sincerely thank my honored Sisters and Brothers who continue fighting and sacrificing. We really don't fight for the flag or for the country or for freedom, but we truly fight for ourselves and for each other.


Bill Donovan said...

Brothers in arms, I spent a year in Afghanistan. Life is confusing, but the bonds I formed with my team will last as long as I live.

EuroYank - Virginia Hoge said...

Hail to all Veterans of all wars. Let us not forget that in TWO WORLD WARS 150 MILLION people died, and at least 85% were INNOCENT CIVILIANS!

Bonez said...

Mr. Donovan, thank you for your service and I honor you for your sacrifice. Brothers and Sisters in Arms indeed. Something that can only be shared by those who have served and positioned themselves to risk all either past or present. Again, thank you.

Bonez said...

EuroYank, I am in total agreement. Veterans around the world and from all walks should be honored for their sacrifices. I am not speaking of the mad men that directed their paths but of the souls who sacrificed themselves... even those who didn't pay the ultimate "price" we are all willing to make but placed themselves in the position to do so at a moment's notice. No greater love exists than a man/woman who would lay down his/her life for his/her brother/sister.