Like many of my peers I have live in awe at the deeds and distinguished courage of my ancestors, father, uncles, grandparents’, that marched willingly in the hail of machine gun fire, slowly and steadily to preserve our heritage. Even those brave souls who through religious or social convictions felt obliged to refuse to fight through their deep held persuasions, showed inordinate bravery to be true to their beliefs.
I listened to the tales of daring do when and if they were presented, ever with humility, abstractness, with emphasis on those unfortunate comrades who gave all they had to give stoically, selflessly, as faithful brothers ever should. Most impressive was always the volume of silence any gathering of these old warriors would shout to the present and future, an cacophonic warning of the horrors they endured so that their descendants might avoid such terrible privations.
For a month each year immediately before Armistice Day I solemnly wear the poppy in my lapel. In memory, gratitude, as required by duty, responsibility, fidelity.