With Heartfelt Gratitude

This is one of my earliest posts about Remembrance Day.
I am reposting as my thoughts expressed here stand and sadly, nothing has changed except perhaps that “Lest We Forget” has now become “The World’s Biggest Shopping Day is now 11/11” and “11/11 isn’t just for Singles anymore!”
Service men and women fought for our right to freedom, not for our right to shop. Show some respect. Wear a poppy, stand for the two minutes, pull over, stop your damn car and be grateful that someone had the courage to make the sacrifice for you and your future.

The Eclectic Poet

“He is not missing, He is here”

~ Field Marshal Lord Plumer at the unveiling of the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing 24th July 1927

~~~~~

I am the first generation in my family that hasn’t served, fought or died for this country…

It’s not a big deal, something that gets talked about alot. Just something I noticed about a decade ago while working on a November 11th project with the kids.

When it comes to mind lately, the thought is even more poignant…

Some of the children who went to school at the same time, who made the construction paper poppies and sang John Lennon’s  “Give Peace A Chance” at the Remembrance Day assembly –  “my kids” – are part of the Canadian Forces currently in Afghanistan.

Boggles the mind. The “War To End All Wars” has come and gone and still, the world fights on.

I doubt that…

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With Heartfelt Gratitude

“He is not missing, He is here”

~ Field Marshal Lord Plumer at the unveiling of the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing 24th July 1927

~~~~~

I am the first generation in my family that hasn’t served, fought or died for this country…

It’s not a big deal, something that gets talked about alot. Just something I noticed about a decade ago while working on a November 11th project with the kids.

When it comes to mind lately, the thought is even more poignant…

Some of the children who went to school at the same time, who made the construction paper poppies and sang John Lennon’s  “Give Peace A Chance” at the Remembrance Day assembly –  “my kids” – are part of the Canadian Forces currently in Afghanistan.

Boggles the mind. The “War To End All Wars” has come and gone and still, the world fights on.

I doubt that anyone my age truly believes that there’ll be a time when there is no more war. It’s a sad and unfortunate truth that the world has become more violent, the rhetoric more virulent and the willful blindness and stupidity just never changed at all.

My hope for Remembrance Day is that in speaking openly about the human face of war, by celebrating the huge victories for peace and freedom that past generations won and supporting the people who continue fighting for all of us today; we’ll  all remember that the simple, sometimes mundane reality of our everyday lives is actually a gift.

That people just like us, left everything they hold dear, fought, were wounded and died. It crystallizes the concept of one person making a difference and how when all those individuals consolidate their efforts for such an honourable cause, just how much can be achieved.

Look around you Canada, the spirit of Remembrance Day is with us every day.

Great Great Grandpa Carey James Tupper – The Boer War

Great Grandpa Carey Tupper – killed in action 2 June 1916, WWI, Ypres

Great Grandpa Thomas Howell Thomas – wounded in action 1917, WW!, Passchendaele

Great Grandpa James Harris Thorpe – Canadian Merchant Marine WWII, Atlantic Theatre

Great Uncle Bill Thorpe – Canadian Merchant Marine WWII, Atlantic Theatre

Great Auntie Jean – 2nd Lieutenant during World War Two, Commemorative Medal of the Confederation of Canada

Great Uncle Clayton Thorpe – Canadian Armed Forces WWII, Italy, France, Belgium, liberation of Germany

My Dad Earl C. Tupper – Canadian Armed Forces

Grandpa William C. Collins – Canadian Air Force and Corps of Engineers, WWII

Thank you to “My Kids”, Canadian Armed Forces, currently serving in Afghanistan. I won’t call you out here but I better see you soon!

Carey Judson Tupper. Panel 30 & 32

Carey Judson Tupper. Panel 30 & 32

We Stand On Guard

Since before Confederation, The American Revolution, The Boer War, The War of 1812, First World War, Second World War, Korea. On land, on sea, in air – my family has been proud to serve, fight and die for this country and yours. I wish I could honour all of them with a photo or a word or two. I’ll settle with the simplest and the most heartfelt.
Thank you.

 

Old Soldiers And Fallen Angels

I’m Canadian and observe Remembrance Day on November 11 each year. I was engaged to an American who served and I had got in the habit of posting my personal observances on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. This 25th of May will mark the one year interval since his death and my former wedding anniversary… lots of memories. So, one last time.

Once upon a time, I loved a soldier…

His topaz eyes turned to me, dusty
In the middle of the blazing desert
Pleading for the coolness
Of the rain I couldn’t make fall
Onto the furnace raging in his soul
And all around him
While the bombs fell and ghosts disguised
As comrades lay down in the burning sand
With all his hopes and dreams
And I felt his hold slipping, losing grip
From a thousand miles away
Felt his sanity slip… Calling me
Over the sound of a world exploding
I could taste copper in my mouth
And the blood in my eyes obscured
The river where we had lain so long ago
The green grass under my naked back
His hips held tight entwined in my thighs
Those eyes and blue skies
Helicopter rotor, bombs, mortars
I felt him slip away from me and into
The lying arms of baked, sere ground
The ringing in my ears was a dirge
Moaning my name and I came
To cover his body with green
With my riverbanks and oceans
And dreams of what we should have been
I have sung him home to my arms
To hold him here in the last breath
Of these old and aching lungs
And I will happily relinquish this breath
To hold his hand again, to run
To jump into the cold water
Hold his perfect body close to mine
Just one more time
On riverbanks of green

© Karin Bole Tupper
23 November 2012

pf beret flash bad boy smoking 2013

Old Soldiers And Fallen Angels

Once upon a time, I loved a soldier…

His topaz eyes turned to me, dusty
In the middle of the blazing desert
Pleading for the coolness
Of the rain I couldn’t make fall
Onto the furnace raging in his soul
And all around him
While the bombs fell and ghosts disguised
As comrades lay down in the burning sand
With all his hopes and dreams
And I felt his hold slipping, losing grip
From a thousand miles away
Felt his sanity slip… Calling me
Over the sound of a world exploding
I could taste copper in my mouth
And the blood in my eyes obscured
The river where we had lain so long ago
The green grass under my naked back
His hips held tight entwined in my thighs
Those eyes and blue skies
Helicopter rotor, bombs, mortars
I felt him slip away from me and into
The lying arms of baked, sere ground
The ringing in my ears was a dirge
Moaning my name and I came
To cover his body with green
With my riverbanks and oceans
And dreams of what we should have been
I have sung him home to my arms
To hold him here in the last breath
Of these old and aching lungs
And I will happily relinquish this breath
To hold his hand again, to run
To jump into the cold water
Hold his perfect body close to mine
Just one more time
On riverbanks of green

© Karin E. Tupper
23 November 2012

Field Of Love

Ever On Guard For Thee

In Flanders Fields

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.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

3 May 1915

poppies ottawa

Arlington Calls

I had a friend once. A veteran who suffers from PTSD. Two years ago, I received a panicky text from one of our mutual friends as I was walking through February ice and snow to buy groceries. The call was to tell me that after several sleepless, nightmare filled nights, my soldier had put on his dress blues and was on his way to Arlington Cemetery. Speaking in tongues mostly but making clear that he wanted to know, wanted to see his final resting place. The panicked email that followed this, from my friend’s daughter just about unhinged my heart and soul. What could I do from seven hundred and fifty miles away?

This is how I remember those moments…

Walking, taking jerky steps as if I were a drunk man’s puppet
My breath wouldn’t come to fill the collapsed balloons of my lungs
I moved, through the blinding sun, with my cellphone in hand
Couldn’t let go of it because you were in it, in the resistors and wires
Wires and connections like the synapses firing, rapid fire thoughts
Thoughts circulating and revolving, mimicking the revolution of tires
I moved. Forward through quicksand. To what? Where? Too far
To bend time. touch your mind. To try to stop the slash and burn
Connected to one thought – your hands on the steering wheel. Turn!
Clutching the proverbial straw. Adrenaline overdose and raw
Nothing else to grab on to. Alone on the phone with PTSD and you
Legs could no longer carry, dropping down into the snow
Weeping to finally hear that slow and wavering hello
Bend bandwidth
Take your finger off the damn trigger!
Beg Ma Bell
Heart stuttering, fingers freezing
Begging deities, pleading, pleading
Invoking my force of will. This is my will!
Force back his hell

kei
11 April 2014

PTSD Lover

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